But it turns out, it wasn't the King of Pop's most patented move.
Jackson made a mark not just on stage, but in business, reports CBS News anchor Katie Couric. It turns out he was an inventor, too. And during his song "Smooth Criminal," there was more than choreography behind his show-stopping move.
He defied gravity - not with special effects, but with a special shoe. A shoe Jackson designed, and along with partners, patented in 1993. It's described as a "method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion."
It works because of a special cut out in the shoe's heel. It hitches onto rods that, when needed, come up through the stage floor - all but nailing down the dancers.
It allowed them to make the impossible move - done without harnesses or wires. So while patent number 5255452 does not sound very catchy, it's definitely a number you can dance to. The patent expired early in 2005, but if you're interested in picking up, there's no guarantee Jackson's trademark moves are part of the deal.