Litigation

Intellectual Property Litigation

Our Intellectual Property Litigation Group advises and counsels entertainment and non-entertainment clients on a broad range of intellectual property matters.

Greenberg Glusker’s IP litigators handle virtually all aspects of copyright law, including disputes involving ownership transfers, license termination, copyright preemption, fair use, music sampling and internet piracy.

We handle trademark disputes involving claims that one mark is confusingly similar to another, as well as trademark dilution, “cybersquatting” and trade dress infringement claims.

Our litigators represent plaintiffs and defendants in “idea submission” cases involving motion pictures, television shows, video games, books and toys.

We have special expertise in “right of publicity” matters, prosecuting and defending claims relating to the unauthorized use of celebrities’ names, likenesses and voices.

We also handle unfair competition disputes, and have particularly extensive expertise in matters involving “grey market” goods.

 For more information, please contact Aaron Moss

  • Currently representing the Estate of JRR Tolkien and HarperCollins, owners of the copyrights in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novels, The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings, in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and The Saul Zaentz Company related to improper merchandising exploitation of Tolkien’s works, including the use of the novels in connection with online slot machines, casino slot machines and downloadable video games.  
  • 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.
  • Represented Warren Beatty in litigation against Tribune Media Services involving rights in and to the character Dick Tracy.  Case involved, in part, assertions by Tribune concerning the non-assignability of copyrights.  Tribune’s copyright argument was rejected by the court.
  • Obtained summary judgment for Costco Wholesale Corporation against Omega S.A. in a case involving the Copyright Act’s “first sale” doctrine, establishing Costco’s right to sell Omega watches in its warehouse stores.
  • Represented the producers of “Alpha Dog” a major motion picture starring Justin Timberlake, in defeating a lawsuit which attempted to stop the release of the film less than a month before the scheduled premiere.
  • 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.
  • Represent Toho Co., Ltd., owner of the intellectual property rights in “Godzilla,” in numerous matters involving copyright and trademark infringement and licensing disputes.  Among the many issues involved in these cases are 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.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement for Gameloft, S.A., one of the world's largest publishers of mobile phone video games, in a copyright and trademark dispute brought by Activision in connection with the video game “Guitar Hero.”
  • Obtained a preliminary injunction for a Fortune 500-consulting company against a customer using the client’s copyrighted software beyond the scope of its license.
  • Represented James Cameron in connection with claims asserted by third parties that the motion pictures “Terminator” and “Terminator 2” infringed pre-existing copyright works.  All such actions were dismissed prior to trial.
  • Represented Intervisual Books in connection with litigation asserting that its children’s books infringed the copyrights of a third party competitor.  The action was settled prior to trial.
  • Represented dressmaker Private Label by G in successful defense of claims that its wedding dresses infringed dress designs of competitors.
  • Represented Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman in separate right of publicity actions involving unauthorized utilization of the actors’ likenesses as they appeared in copyrighted works.  The defense of copyright preemption was asserted in those cases and rejected by the court in each instance.
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