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Robert E. Allen is a principal in McKool Smith's Los Angeles office. Robert is a highly accomplished, results-focused intellectual property lawyer with significant experience in both litigation and transactions involving copyright, especially in entertainment and new media related fields.

Immediately prior to joining McKool Smith, Robert had his own firm, focusing on intellectual property and entertainment-related disputes in both state and federal court. Before that, Robert was the senior vice president, head of business and legal affairs for Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), the then-largest music publisher in the world, where he was also head of the New Media Business Development Committee, a team charged with setting the direction and execution of cutting edge digital and internet exploitation strategies. Robert was at UMPG for almost fourteen years; prior to UMPG, he was the second in command of the business and legal affairs department of the PolyGram Music Publishing Group, where he provided negotiation and legal support for its executive team.


Representative Matters

Litigation Matters

  • Osram Sylvania Litigation. Trial and litigation counsel for Photographic Illustrator’s Corp. in its copyright infringement and breach of contract actions against Osram Sylvania, one of the world’s largest lighting manufacturers, resulting in an award, including attorneys’ fees, of ~$15 Million.
  • Quincy Jones. Trial counsel and lead litigation counsel for legendary music producer Quincy Jones against the late music icon Michael Jackson’s production company, MJJ Productions Inc., in a breach of contract and royalty dispute, securing a $9.4 million jury verdict.
  • The Turtles. Represented the Turtles against Sirius XM in class actions around the country concerning misappropriation of their pre-1972 recordings.
  • 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.
  • Jerry Goldstein. Defended entities owned by Jerry Goldstein against claims by Sylvester Stewart p/k/a “Sly and the Family Stone.”

Transactional Matters

  • Television network. Business affairs for startup television network on DirecTV/Verizon FIOS, including motion picture acquisitions and licensing, original programming production, web development, and regulatory compliance.
  • Electronic company. Content licensing, software development, white label product, and marketing support for consumer electronic company’s IPTV digital media service.
  • Digital distribution company. Movie and TV content licensing and software application licensing to consumer electronics products for entertainment digital distribution company, including electronic sell through, digital rental, Ultraviolet, and Disc to Digital distribution.
  • Copyright licensing for major artists.

Media & Events



J.D., University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, 1993

B.A., with distinction, Political Economy of Industrialized Societies, University of California at Berkeley, 1990

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • State of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court for Central District, Northern District, Southern District and Eastern District
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