Intellectual Property

Copyright & Idea Theft Litigation

Practicing in the heart of the entertainment industry, we have extensive experience in the litigation and trial of copyright infringement, validity, ownership and licensing disputes. We represent film and television studios, media and entertainment companies, consumer products companies, real estate developers and architects, and individual authors, artists and musicians. Our cases have involved all forms of copyrighted content, including video and board games, dolls, toys, films, television programs, scripts, music, advertising, artwork, computer software, databases, graphic design, architectural design, textiles and sculptures. We also regularly represent clients in the prosecution and defense of idea theft cases.

Representative Copyright and Idea Theft Matters:

  • Won unanimous defense verdict for DIC Animation City, Hallmark, United Feature Syndicate, Mattel and Live Film and Mediaworks, Inc. in a several week jury trial over copyright infringement claims by the widow of a famous screenwriter, upheld on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • Won summary judgment for defendants the Disney Channel, Warner Home Video and others in a copyright infringement suit over shows and products derived from children’s animated television programs.
  • Won summary judgment for defendant Topson Downs of California, invalidating a copyright for textile design and finding no infringement as to three other textile design copyrights asserted by plaintiff Meridian Textiles.
  • Won summary judgments in defendant Mattel’s favor in both federal and state court suits when American First Run Studios accused Mattel of infringing its “Tarzan” copyrights and other rights with Mattel’s Tarzan action figures, and won the appeals of both judgments in the Ninth Circuit and California Court of Appeals, respectively.
  • Won cross-border actions in the U.S. and Germany against Greiner & Hausser, a German toy company that sought to rescind its assignment of copyrights and patent rights in the Bild Lilli doll used in the creation of Mattel’s BARBIE line.
  • Won summary judgment of noninfringement and $500,000 in sanctions, upheld on the merits by the Ninth Circuit, when Mattel was targeted in a frivolous copyright infringement suit in which the plaintiff sought $2 billion for alleged infringement of its fashion doll copyright by certain Mattel BARBIE dolls.
  • Won reversal of a preliminary injunction on appeal for defendant Kaiser Permanente, after taking over a case in which the company had been preliminarily enjoined from using its library of advertising and marketing photographs on the ground that these works (already paid for by Kaiser) were owned by the photographers.
  • Achieved a permanent injunction and damages for SHFL entertainment, against a distributor of games infringing SHFL’s THREE CARD POKER and CASINO WARS copyrighted layouts.
  • Won summary judgment on liability for direct and contributory copyright infringement on behalf of Plaintiff authors in a suit against Los Angeles Unified School District employees who sent out unauthorized electronic copies of Plaintiffs’ books to school employees and others.
  • Won affirmance on the merits by the Ninth Circuit of Rule 11 sanctions award against opponent who filed a frivolous copyright infringement suit over Mattel’s BARBIE dolls.