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As digital technology and the online environment transform the distribution and use of intellectual property, our Copyright & Trademark group is on the front lines in protecting and enforcing our clients’ most important creative assets. Our trial-tested team represents a wide range of clients, from entrepreneurs to major corporations, from playwrights to media giants, and from individual songwriters to the country’s largest performing rights organizations.

Representative Engagements

Our recent IP litigation representations have included:

Copyright

  • Altice USA and Charter Communications in litigation with cable television networks arising out of change of control transactions.
  • The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in ongoing copyright disputes and related advice.

Trademark & Trade Dress

  • Calvin Klein in trademark and license disputes domestically and internationally.
  • Barefoot Contessa Pantry LLC, Ina Garten and Ina Garten LLC in a trade dress infringement suit against a large frozen food distributor.
  • Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., Liz Claiborne, Inc. and Lucky Brand Dungarees Stores, Inc. in a trademark infringement lawsuit concerning the use of its “Lucky Brand” trademarks.
  • MedExpress in providing ongoing strategic trademark enforcement and protection advice.
  • WME IMG Holdings LLC (now Endeavor):
    • in connection with two related lawsuits brought by Dov Seidman, a client of WME’s literary department. The original lawsuit, filed in federal district court in New York against WME affiliate Droga5, an advertising firm, and Chobani, a Greek yogurt manufacturer, alleged violation of Seidman’s purported rights in an advertising campaign Droga5 created and launched for Chobani; and
    • in a contract dispute with a prominent university regarding the licensing and marketing of its athletic programs.

False Advertising and Idea Misappropriation

  • The Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd. in a false advertising lawsuit against Nestlé Purina.
  • The Huffington Post in an idea misappropriation claim brought by two individuals who claimed the site was their idea.
  • Judith Sheindlin, also known as Judge Judy, in a right of publicity and false endorsement suit against attorney John Haymond and The Haymond Law Firm.
  • Michael Kors, a global luxury apparel company, in:
    • a false advertising lawsuit against Costco. Michael Kors filed the suit after Costco, which is not an authorized Michael Kors retailer, published a nationwide advertisement suggesting that Michael Kors handbags could be purchased at Costco for as low as $99; and
    • a putative class action involving the use of Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price on the price tags of certain products sold at Michael Kors’ outlet stores.
  • Weight Watchers International, Inc. in a false advertising dispute with a U.K.-based competitor, Slimming World, expanding into the U.S. market. We obtained dismissal of the initial complaint and the matter was ultimately settled.
  • XPOLogistics, Inc. in an action for misappropriation of trade secrets brought by a competitor in the third party logistics industry.

Royalty and Licensing Disputes

  • The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP):
    • proceedings and negotiations to set the royalty rate for public performances of musical compositions by the cable television, network television, local television and radio industries, as well as by numerous new media companies, including a rate proceeding with Pandora about the appropriate public performance rate for online radio; and
    • in a significant and closely watched trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to determine a reasonable license fee for the use of musical works in the ASCAP repertory by music service Pandora.
  • Blue Man Group, the innovative, immensely successful Off-Broadway theater production in a royalty dispute with a company that claimed a producer credit in connection with the original production.
  • Harlequin Enterprises Limited, the world’s largest publisher of women’s fiction, in a class action brought by a class of authors who published romance novels from 1990 to 2004 that were later digitized and published as e-books.
  • National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) and The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) in:
    • a settlement that sets mechanical royalty rates and terms for the reproduction and distribution of musical works by record companies and digital music companies; and
    • a trial before the Copyright Royalty Board resulting in the setting of advantageous new rates and terms for the mechanical license under Section 115 of the Copyright Act – the first contested rate proceeding in the music industry in almost three decades.

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