Days before the first anniversary of MJ's death a Japanese businessman announced a new official MJ project. Claiming that based on a previous agreement with MJ he is the sole owner of MJ's licensing rights in the Asian region.
Of course this is stupid and untrue. As the media reported, MJ had a business relationship with this guy back in the late 90's, but they never got into a real agreement. This is nothing more then a crazy attempt to get some money. And lawsuits I guess.
MJ owned his licensing rights 100% since 1984, when he established "Triumph International Inc.". Those rights were used by agents through the years for major promotions (like the Sony albums) and special projects (like a Japanese clothing line in 2003). At the moment Triumph is the sole owner worldwide, controlled by MJ's Estate. The only official agent is Univeral's Bravado, who is adding strategic partners almost monthly. The only problem is that MJ had a licensing agreement with certain German people both in 2001 and 2003. This agreement provides a company "MJ Licensing LLC" releasing so called official items until June, 2012 in Europe alone. Majority of the incomes goes to the Estate from MJL as well.
How about Asia? MJ established another company in 2001 for the Asian and Pacific markets called "Michael Jackson Asia/Pacific Co.". This entity was owned by several local partners and MJ himself, but got dismissed years ago. The same happened with another local MJ licensing company in Singapor. The licensing rights were sold to a company, "Ecbizz Japan Co." that used the brand until last year. Most likely the Estate negoitated an agreement with the company, and got all the rights back. All of Ecbizz's websites and products has been erased (like the famous clothing line and a mobile phone). The only strategic partner the Estate kept in is Hot Toys, that will release more figures this year inspired by MJ.
The new people interfering with MJ's businesses established a company called "Michael Jackson Asia Rights Co." (mja-rights.com) for the local licensing rights, and are ready to create a management entity under "Michael Jackson Asia Co.". As well a foundation in MJ's name to spend some of the incomes on charity.
Along with a local mobile developer company, mThink they are planning to release applications and tools (mobile-mj.com) starting from late July. They are already selling merchandises.
According to their website, they are in discussion with the Estate now. They claim that MJ signed two contracts, one over a press conference in Japan, and one in July, 1988 in a Tokyo hotel. The contract covers his likeness for the next 25 years on the Asian and Japan region.
As an interesting fact, according to the website the original agreement has been signed on June 25th, 1998.