Hologram Outfit Couldn't Stop Jacko's Show


LAS VEGAS (CN) - Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards featured a holographic Michael Jackson who sang and danced - and violated two hologram patents, a company claims in court.
     Hologram USA, Musion Das Hologram and Uwe Maass sought to enjoin the performance, in their federal lawsuit.
     They claim to own the technology used to create a 3-D Tupac Shakur hologram that appeared during the 2012 Coachella music festival.
     They say defendant, John C. Textor, a former business associate, used the patented technology to produce the Michael Jackson hologram.
     Textor is CEO of lead defendant Pulse Entertainment. Also named as defendants are Dick Clark Productions, MJJ Productions, Prometheus Global Media, and two executors of Michael Jackson's estate.
     The plaintiffs say the Michael Jackson hologram that appeared during the Sunday night awards program infringes upon the patented Musion Eyeliner technology used to create the Tupac Shakur hologram two years ago.
     Textor, working for another company, helped produce that hologram show.
     The Michael Jackson hologram sang a new song, "Slave to the Rhythm," and performed with several stage dancers to a full audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The performance was broadcast nationally on ABC.
     In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs describe the patented technology as "an amazing new technique of projecting video to create the illusion of life-size, full color, 3D moving images. All of the images used in this system are three-dimensional, but are projected as two dimensional images into a three-dimensional stage set."
     Without the technology, they claim, the Michael Jackson hologram could not have been created.
     But on Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson ruled that the plaintiffs did not have enough evidence to stop the show.
     Michael Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman claimed the case lacked merit and was nothing more than a publicity stunt, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Weitzman claimed the technology is in the public domain.
     Attorneys for Hologram USA intend to continue the legal action despite the Friday ruling. They seek a jury trial and damages for violation of two patents.
     Hologram USA's lead attorney is Craig Newby with McDonald, Carano and Wilson.