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Michael Jackson’s hologram lives on thanks to failed patent claim

Michael Jackson’s hologram will live on — at least long enough to “perform” a song from the artist’s posthumous album Xscape on stage during Billboard’s Music Awards on Sunday night. A federal judge in Las Vegas denied a request for an injunction to halt the performance, ruling that the plaintiffs could not achieve the necessary burden of proof for such a measure. The plaintiffs, Hologram USA and Musion Das Hologram, argued that the planned holographic performance violated their patents, which were obtained through the purchase of the now-defunct Florida company that helped produce the Tupac’s digital Coachella 2012 performance from beyond the grave. 

Owners of technology famously employed to digitally produce deceased rapper Tupac Shakur can’t block the producers of the Billboard Music Awards from resurrecting pop icon Michael Jackson at Sunday’s annual show, a federal judge ruled late Friday. Billboard has been promoting a “history-making performance” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and it turns out the star is Michael Jackson. At the performance, his hologram will promoteXscape, Jackson’s new album released posthumously. A Las Vegas federal judge Friday put the brakes on anemergency injunction demand [PDF] from patent holders Hologram USA and Musion Das Hologram. They claimed that Jackson’s 3-D dancing and singing image would infringe two of their patents, one being the “Pepper’s Ghost Illusion” that paved the way for Tupac to appear at the Coachella music festival in 2012.

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