Aaron J. Moss




Aaron Moss handles a variety of entertainment litigation, intellectual property and general commercial matters, specializing in protecting the rights of owners and users of creative works.

Mr. Moss litigates high-profile copyright infringement actions for both plaintiffs and defendants, including studios, independent distributors, production companies, video game publishers, apparel manufacturers, technology firms and individuals.  In addition to copyright matters, Mr. Moss has litigated high-stakes profit participation cases, prosecuted and defended idea submission claims, and has represented award-winning actors and performers in right of publicity actions involving the unauthorized use of their names, voices and likenesses, as well as defamation, invasion of privacy and other media-related disputes.  Mr. Moss has also handled matters involving trademark and trade dress infringement, domain name disputes, unfair competition, and contractual disputes across a wide range of industries.

Mr. Moss has been named by Daily Journal as one of the “Top 75 IP Litigators in California” on four separate occasions, and was named among the city’s top IP attorneys in Los Angeles Business Journal's list of 40 Angelenos to Know in Intellectual Property Law.






Entertainment Litigation & Intellectual Property Experience

  • Obtained reversal of an adverse arbitration ruling for Classic Media, one of the world’s largest owners and distributors of classic children’s and family content, in a dispute involving rights to a well-known television series; after prevailing on appeal, the client ultimately received $6,000,000 for its rights
  • Represented Tom Cruise in a defamation action against the publisher of supermarket tabloids In Touch and Life & Style Weekly
  • Obtained a permanent injunction on behalf of Leg Avenue, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of costumes, hosiery and lingerie in a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against a competing seller
  • Defended Ubisoft Entertainment, one of the world’s largest video game publishers, against copyright infringement claims brought by John Beiswenger alleging that Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed video game series infringed the author’s novel Link, resulting in Beiswenger dismissing his case at the pleading stage
  • Represents Costco Wholesale Corporation in the high-profile copyright case Omega v. Costco, defending Costco against claims that the retailer infringed Omega’s copyright by acquiring genuine watches imported from abroad without Omega’s consent and selling them for more than one-third less than Omega’s regular retail price; the case went to the United States Supreme Court in November 2010 on Costco’s “first sale” defense. Following the Court’s 4-4 deadlock, the case was remanded to a Los Angeles federal district court, where Mr. Moss obtained summary judgment for Costco on its “copyright misuse” defense. Costco’s legal position on the first sale doctrine was subsequently vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Represented Sugar Foods, a multinational food products company, in obtaining dismissal at the pleading stage of a federal consumer class action complaint alleging false advertising and unfair competition claims
  • Obtained a rare cover apology for actress Katie Holmes after bringing a defamation lawsuit against the publisher of Star Magazine
  • Represents Classic Media, LLC in various litigation and transactional matters involving rights to “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Batman” and other properties
  • Represents Marvel, owner of the copyrights in “Spider-Man”, “Iron Man” and numerous other iconic characters in various matters involving intellectual property disputes, profit participation rights and general litigation
  • Represents the estate of Rod Serling, famed creator of The Twilight Zone, in right of publicity and copyright matters
  • Represented the Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien in connection with rights issues arising out of “The Hobbit” motion picture and other intellectual property matters
  • Defended and advised owners of such entertainment properties as “Lassie,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Winnie the Pooh” and “Charlotte’s Web” in connection with attempts by authors’ heirs to recapture copyrights in these properties under the Copyright Act’s statutory termination provisions; in several cases, Mr. Moss has obtained summary judgment for his clients, establishing their continued right to own and exploit their copyrighted works
  • Regularly represents Toho Co., Ltd., owner of intellectual property rights in “Godzilla,” in numerous matters involving copyright and trademark infringement and licensing disputes; among many others, these cases have involved the unauthorized use of the Godzilla character in motion pictures and television commercials, the “sampling” of Godzilla theme music in sound recordings, and the infringement of Toho’s characters in connection with various internet ventures; all of these cases were resolved with the defendants ceasing their infringing conduct
  • Defended Health Communications, Inc., original publisher of the bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series in a trademark action brought by the books’ co-authors
  • Represents Gameloft, S.A., one of the world’s largest publishers of mobile phone video games, in numerous IP matters, including a copyright and trademark dispute brought by Activision in connection with the video game “Guitar Hero”
  • Regularly represents Tom Cruise in media-related matters, including defamation, invasion of privacy and the right of publicity
  • In a widely-publicized infringement action, part of the litigation team that successfully defeated a preliminary injunction motion seeking to prevent the release of DreamWorks’ motion picture Amistad
  • Achieved favorable settlements on behalf of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman when their names and likenesses were used without permission by cosmetics company Sephora
  • Represented Dustin Hoffman in a landmark right of publicity suit against a magazine that published an unauthorized computer-generated image of the actor
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for toy manufacturer Mattel, Inc. against a producer of dolls that infringed the “Barbie” and “American Girl” lines
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for a Fortune 500 company against a customer using the client’s copyrighted software beyond the scope of its license
  • Regularly represents well-known sports photographer Neil Leifer in connection with copyright issues
  • Successfully defended Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in a contractual dispute over alleged producing partnership
  • Represented Tom Skerritt against the manufacturer of a dietary supplement that used a photograph of the actor in an unauthorized advertisement
  • Represented R&B group Bloodstone when its members’ voices were used without permission in a beer commercial
  • Represented Universal Pictures in a case brought by a photographer who claimed to own the copyright in key art for a major motion picture

Published Articles

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Best Practices for Attorneys in High-Profile or Crisis Situations," ABA Business Law Section, April 10, 2014 
  • Speaker, Copyright Termination Panel, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Seminar, 2013
  • Speaker, “The Last Word on First Sale? The Kirtsaeng Decision and the Future of the First Sale Doctrine,” West LegalEdcenter Presentation, 2013
  • Speaker, “Termination Salvation: Do Artists Who Use Loan-Out Corporations Say Hasta La Vista to Their Termination Rights?” Los Angeles Copyright Society, 2013
  • Moderator, “New Media, Old Laws: The Role of Copyright in a Digital World,” Variety's Content Protection Summit, 2012 
  • Speaker, “First Sale Fail: Supreme Court Deadlocks in Costco v. Omega – Now What?,” Los Angeles Copyright Society, 2011
  • Speaker, “Hot Legal Issues in Entertainment Litigation for the Talent, Studio, Network and Label Litigator,” ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries Annual Meeting, 2010
  • Speaker, “Terminating Terminations: Defending Against Termination of Transfers after the Winnie the Pooh’ Case,” UCLA Entertainment Symposium, 2008
  • Speaker, “Legal Aspects of Pitch Meetings,” Women in Film Annual Conference, 2006
  • Speaker, “What’s the Big Idea?: Creative Submissions After Grosso v. Miramax,” 2005
  • Regularly speaks to talent agencies, entertainment transactional firms and other organizations on developments in entertainment litigation and intellectual property matters

Media Commentary