A lot has been discussed in the past about patents in the entertainment field, especially interesting ones such as patents owned by entertainers (e.g. Eddie Van Halen for musical instrument support, Bill Nye for Ballet toe shoes etc.,)[1], patents directed to devices related to musical instruments, such as tuners or supports, or even new ways of recording. As the Internet and mobile devices have become more prolific, uses of the Internet and mobile devices have added new aspects to new entertainment-related ideas and implementations. In series of posts we will be writing about patents which we believe are trend setters in the entertainment field.

For most of us entertainment is incomplete without pop culture and disco and the only name that pops up in our mind is that of the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. His dance routine, where he leaned forward 45 degrees, apparently defying gravity is unforgettable. Although in reality, the effect was achieved by wires he wanted to recreate the same dance move in live performances on tour. So, along with two co-inventors, Jackson developed a special shoe. A slot in the heel engaged with a peg, which could be raised and protruded through the stage floor when activated. With the heel fixed, the performer could lean forward into the attached ankle straps.[2]

Michael Jackson and his co-inventors were granted a U.S. patent (Method and Means for Creating Anti-Gravity Illusion; patent no. 5,255,452 issued on 26 Oct 1993.) for the shoe and its magical heel.[3]

This image shows the drawings tha form part of the patent application filed with respect to the shoes


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.


Authored by Nisha Kurian, Patent Portfolio division at BananaIP Counsels



[1] Ethan Trex, Erin McCarthy; Mental floss, published on September 3, 2013)

[2] Description of patent no. 5,255,452; Image File Wrapper; Public Application Information Retrieval, USPTO (published on 29-06-1992)

[3] Bibliographic Data; Application Data and drawings of patent no. 5,255,452; Public Application Information Retrieval, USPTO (published on 29-06-1992)


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