Michael Jackson, Inventor

You may know that Michael Jackson owned the publishing rights to many of the Beatles’s songs. He outbid Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono for the rights to ATV’s catalog of songs in 1984, which included almost all of the songs by Lennon and McCartney in the days of the Beatles.

But did you know that Jackson was also an inventor? He is named as such on US Patent 5255452 for a “Method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion“. When I first read that, I admit that I thought he had patented the Moonwalk! But no, that’s not it.


Jackson’s patent is summarized as,

“A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity by virtue of wearing a specially designed pair of shoes which will engage with a hitch member movably projectable through a stage surface. The shoes have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with the hitch member by simply sliding the shoe wearer’s foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member.”


You can see the shoes in action in this video of a performance of Smooth Criminal, at around the 3:50 mark. In fact, if you watch the dancer on the right closely, you can see his struggle to get his shoe disengaged from the hitch on the stage.

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