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Overview

Copyrights and trademarks are often among a company’s most valuable assets. We offer clients effective counsel to prosecute and defend copyright infringement claims that can threaten their competitive position. Our lawyers appear before the U.S. Copyright Office and the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board—as well as in district courts across the country—to assist both plaintiffs and defendants in obtaining, protecting, and enforcing their intellectual property, and in negotiating favorable distribution and licensing arrangements. When litigation is necessary, our trial lawyers provide formidable representation to obtain jury verdicts, summary judgments, seizure orders, or injunctions for our clients.

We have significant experience in copyright and trademark litigation, which includes acting as lead counsel for Sharman Networks Limited—the owners of Kazaa, a peer-to-peer music and video sharing application—in its defense of the largest copyright infringement suit in the world at the time. Our lawyers successfully argued for application of the doctrine of copyright misuse in a case of first impression in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Clients also turn to McKool Smith for representation in false advertising litigation. We are well-versed in handling these complex and often sensitive issues before district courts, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Because these cases often involve high-stakes emergency injunctive proceedings, our trial lawyers have developed the skills and protocols to successfully navigate temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction hearings.

Experience

Representative Matters

Our attorneys' copyright litigation experience includes the following matters, among others:

  • ABS Entertainment. Representation of ABS Entertainment in a matter against Cumulus Media Inc., CBS Corp., and iHeartMedia Inc. in Los Angeles federal court, claiming hundreds of millions in unpaid royalties on music recorded before 1972 and delivered over the airwaves as well as via the Internet.
  • DGI Technologies.  Lead counsel for DGI in defense of a complex copyright, trade secret, and anti-trust suit filed by Alcatel.  On appeal, our lawyers argued for the first application of the doctrine of copyright misuse in the fifth circuit.
  • Arturo Corral and Luis Coronel. Representation of Arturo Corral and Luis Coronel in copyright infringement and breach of contract claims brought by former Empire music producer Manuel Ledesma and his business partner Louis Barraza.
  • Paramount Pictures Litigation. Represented the writers of the first G.I Joe film in a copyright infringement action against Paramount Pictures for misappropriation of treatments and pitch materials in the $350,000,000 grossing sequel.
  • Mort Stevens.  Represented Mort Stevens for reversion of copyright to the Hawaii Five-0 theme song.
  • Berry Oakley, Jr.  Represented Berry Oakley, Jr., son of Raymond Oakley who was one of the original members of The Allman Brothers, in a claim for reversion of copyrights to the artist’s songs.
  • Sharman Networks. Represented Sharman Networks, distributor of the Kazaa Media Desktop, in multiple copyright infringement matters in both the United States and Australia concerning alleged liability for the distribution of “peer-to-peer” software.  After extensive discovery in the U.S., Australia, and Europe, and a four-week trial in Australia, the cases reached a global settlement. 
  • Joltid Limited. Representation of Joltid Limited in major litigation involving the copyright to software underlying the Skype Internet telephony application and service.  After filing an extensive complaint, the parties reached a business resolution of both the copyright litigation and a parallel U.K. arbitration. 
  • Certification Trendz. Lead counsel for the global leader in Internet distribution of certification test preparation materials in numerous copyright and trademark litigation matters involving American, Chinese and Russian parties, many of which resulted in injunctions ending continuing infringement of intellectual property rights.
  • Wendy’s. Representation of Wendy’s restaurant as lead trial counsel in a copyright and trademark case.

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