Trademark, Copyright, and Advertising Litigation and Counseling
With approximately 70 lawyers in five offices, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and affiliates (“Skadden, Arps” or “Skadden”) has an extensive practice in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law. Below are details regarding the Intellectual Property and Technology Group’s counseling and litigation practice, including its experience in trademark, copyright, and advertising matters.
Counseling and Transactional Practices
Trademark and Domain Name Counseling and Portfolio Management
We assist clients in obtaining, protecting and enforcing trademarks, including conducting and reviewing searches and investigations for trademark clearance; preparing opinion letters; filing and prosecuting trademark applications; handling the prosecution and defense of trademark administrative proceedings; monitoring and policing the use of trademarks by third parties; providing general trademark and domain name counseling. As a part of this practice, we manage the domestic and international trademark portfolios and related intellectual property matters for a wide range of clients. Clients for whom we have handled trademark registration and prosecution issues include Carnegie Hall, Citigroup, Pantone, and Virgin Mobile.
Advertising Substantiation Counseling
We review and pre-clear advertising copy and represent parties in advertising disputes before the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission, the compliance groups of the major television networks, and the various states’ attorneys general. In recent years, clients have included Anheuser-Busch, Estee Lauder, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Virgin Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
Copyright, Entertainment and New Media Counseling
Our attorneys provide copyright advice to a wide range of clients in the online, entertainment and communications industries, including e-commerce companies, new media entrepreneurs, Internet technology companies, website operators, software developers, broadcast and cable television networks, television producers, recording artists, and authors. Our attorneys also have extensive experience with the role of copyrights in the entertainment and communications industries, including film, theater, music, and print and electronic publishing.
Licensing and Transactional Work
Each year, we are responsible for negotiating and structuring the license or transfer of intellectual property and related content from or to firm clients, through license agreements, joint ventures, and hundreds of corporate transactions handled by the firm’s various corporate groups. This work includes negotiating and drafting terms, structuring license, transfer and transition arrangements, preparing intellectual property representations and warranties, and evaluating potential infringements.
Litigation and Trial Engagements
Attorneys in Skadden’s Intellectual Property and Technology Group also represent clients nationwide in federal and state courts in a wide range of intellectual property, Internet and technology disputes. Recent examples include the following:
Trademark Infringement and Dilution Litigation
- New York Stock Exchange, Inc. v. New York-New York Hotel and Casino, LLC, 69 F. Supp. 2d 479 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 293 F. 3d 550 (2d Cir. 2002). We represented the defendant in a trademark infringement and dilution case challenging, among other things, the Casino’s use of the slogan “New York-New York $lot Exchange.”
- Harlem Wizards Entertainment, Inc. v. NBA Properties, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1084 (D.N.J. 1997). We successfully represented the defendant in a five-day bench trial in a trademark infringement case challenging the use of the mark “Washington Wizards” for a professional basketball team.
- The CIT Group, Inc. v. Citicorp, 20 F. Supp. 2d 775 (D.N.J. 1998). As co-counsel, we successfully represented the defendant in a four-day bench trial of a trademark infringement and dilution action challenging the use of the mark “Citigroup.”
- NBA Properties, Inc. v. Salvino, Inc., 99 Civ. 11799 (AGS) (S.D.N.Y.). We represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the defendant’s unlicensed use of NBA team colors and typeface for basketball-related merchandise.
- Fedders Corporation v. Elite Classics and Cheston Knight, 279 F. Supp. 2d 965 (S.D. Ill. 2003). We represented Fedders Corporation in connection with a trade dress infringement and unfair competition case challenging, among other things, defendants’ manufacture and sale of certain residential room air conditioners.
- NBA Properties, Inc. v. American Basketball Association, Inc., 99 Civ. 8634 (LDW) (E.D.N.Y.). We represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the defendant’s unlicensed use of the marks “ABA” and “American Basketball Association” in connection with a new professional basketball league.
- Citigroup Inc. v. City Holding Co., 2003 WL 282202 (S.D.N.Y, Feb 10, 2003). We successfully represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit involving the plaintiff’s “CITI” family of marks for financial services. (See prior opinions at 97 F. Supp. 2d 549; 171 F. Supp. 2d 333).
- Quick Technologies, Inc. v. Sage Group plc, 313 F.3d 338 (5th Cir. 2002). We successfully represented the defendants in connection with the plaintiff’s appeal from a jury verdict in a trademark infringement and dilution lawsuit involving the defendants’ use of the mark “SAGE” for their accounting, HR/payroll, fixed asset, and business management solutions software.
- Checkpoint Systems, Inc. v. Check Point Software Technologies, Inc., 104 F. Supp. 2d 427 (D.N.J. 2000), aff’d, 269 F.3d 270 (3d Cir. 2001). We successfully represented the defendant in an eight-day trademark infringement trial in a lawsuit challenging the use of the mark “Check Point” for computer system firewalls.
- Yougottaeat, Inc. v. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., 81 Fed. Appx. 392 (2d Cir. 2003). We successfully represented the defendant in this trademark infringement case.
- Opus Northwest Construction Corp., et al v. The Clarett Group LLC, et al, 04 Civ. 9319 (PAC) (S.D.N.Y.). We represent defendants in a trademark infringement and dilution suit challenging defendants’ use of the mark “Opus” in connection with the development and sale of a condominium project located at 2770 Broadway in Manhattan.
- CIT Group, plc, CIT Holdings, and CIT (USA) LLC v. CIT Group, Inc., 05 Civ. 8966 (JGK) (KNF) (S.D.N.Y). Trademark infringement lawsuit in the financial services field.
- C.V. Starr & Co., Inc., and C. V. Starr & Co., v. American International Group, Inc., 06 Civ. 2157 (HB) (KNF) (S.D.N.Y). Trademark infringement lawsuit in the insurance services field.
Copyright Infringement Litigation
- Covington Indus. Inc. v. Nichols, 03 Civ. 8024 (KTD) (S.D.N.Y.). We successfully represented the defendants in a copyright infringement lawsuit challenging the defendants’ manufacture and sale of certain fabric patterns.
- Andel Jewelry Co., Inc. v. Service Merchandise Co., 99 Civ. 11960 (DC) (S.D.N.Y.). We represented Service Merchandise in a lawsuit brought by a jewelry manufacturer asserting claims of copyright infringement arising out of the defendant’s sale of certain jewelry items.
- Michel Haddi v. Viacom International Inc. d/b/a VH1 Music First, and Chumcity International, 97 Civ. 8171 (JSM) (S.D.N.Y.). We represented the defendant, Chumcity International, in a copyright infringement action brought by photographer Michel Haddi arising out of Chumcity’s use of a photograph taken by Haddi in connection with a television segment concerning the success of model James King.
- Global Jet Services, Inc. v. FlightSafety International Inc., No. 04 Civ. 4245 (CBA)(MDG) (E.D.N.Y.). We represented counterclaim-plaintiff FlightSafety International Inc. in connection with its assertion that counterclaim-defendant Global Jet Services, Inc. has infringed FlightSafety’s registered copyrights in certain corporate jet pilot and maintenance training manuals.
Internet and Technology Litigation
- Register.com Inc. v. Verio Inc., 126 F. Supp. 2d 238 (S.D.N.Y. 2000), aff’d, 356 F.3d 393 (2d Cir. 2004). We represented domain name registrar Register.com in a lawsuit asserting claims for trademark infringement and misappropriation of data contained in the company’s “WHOIS” database.
- Zurakov v. Register.com Inc., 760 N.Y.S. 2d 13 (1st Dept. 2003). We represented Register.com in a putative class action lawsuit concerning Register.com’s linking of recently registered domain names to a “Coming Soon” Web page that provided links to services provided by Register.com and its business partners, as well as banner advertisements for such services.
- Wornow v. Register.com, Inc., 2004 WL 1244275 (1st Dept. June 8, 2004). We represented Register.com in connection with the defense of a putative class action alleging that Register.com’s automatic renewal of domain name registrations under its management constituted a violation of Section 5-903 of the New York General Obligations Law. The case settled after the court dismissed five of seven causes of action and the Appellate Division had affirmed the dismissals.
- Del Monte Corporation v. Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., 98 Civ. 4060 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.). We successfully represented the defendant in a four-day bench trial challenging the scope of licensed trademark rights to the mark “Del Monte” for fresh fruit products.
- National Basketball Association v. The New York Times Corporation, No. 602858/00 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty.). We represented the National Basketball Association in a lawsuit challenging the sale by The New York Times of NBA game-action photographs taken at NBA arenas.
- Cerruti 1881 SA v. Hartmarx Corporation, 97 Civ. 0192 (AIH) (W.D.N.Y.). We successfully represented the defendant in a four-day bench trial in a dispute alleging breach of a trademark license agreement involving men’s designer suits.
- Shalor Designs, Inc. v. NBA Properties, Inc., 96 Civ. 603043 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty.), aff’d, No. 1088-1089 (1st Dept. May 27, 1999). We successfully represented the defendants in a jury trial and on appeal in a breach of contract lawsuit involving a license agreement for sports apparel.
- Sharp v. The Boyds Collection Ltd., 96-344 (MJM) (N.D. Iowa). We represented the defendant, Boyds, in a dispute with an artist involving licensed designs for plush bears and resin figurines.
Lanham Act False Advertising Litigation
- Gillette Co. v. Norelco Consumer Products Co., 96 Civ. 12034 (D. Mass.). We represented Gillette in a false advertising case challenging advertising for electric razors. See 946 F. Supp. 115 (D. Mass 1996) (decision on preliminary injunction motion).
- CB Fleet Co. v. SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare, 13 F.3d 430 (4th Cir. 1997). We successfully defended SmithKline Beecham in a false advertising lawsuit brought by its principal competitor in the category.
- PBM Products, Inc. v. Mead Johnson & Company, 3:01CV 199 (E.D. Va.). We represented Mead Johnson in a false advertising lawsuit involving infant formulas.
- GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, L.P. v. Merix Pharmaceutical Corp., 05 Civ. 898 (DRD) (D.N.J.). We are representing GlaxoSmithKline in a false advertising lawsuit involving cold sore remedies.
State Law False Advertising/Unfair Competition Litigation
- Debra C. Scheufler v. Estee Lauder, Inc., et al, GIC840550, (RELS), (Superior Court of CA, County of San Diego). We are representing Estee Lauder, Inc. in a purported class action challenging “anti-aging” cosmetic claims as false advertising, unfair competition, and fraudulent.
- Annette Scott v. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, L.P., 05 Civ. 3004 (JBZ) (AK) (N.D. Ill., East. Div.). We are representing the defendant in a state law false advertising/unfair competition lawsuit (purported class action) including OTC and prescription cold sore and herpes remedies.
- Nelson v. Virgin Mobile USA, LLC., 05 Civ. 1594 (WQH) (NLS) (S.D. Cal.). We are representing Virgin Mobile USA in connection with the defense of a putative class action lawsuit alleging that certain of Virgin Mobile USA’s promotional packaging violated consumer protection laws of California, constituted unfair business practices, and constituted a breach of contract.
Rights of Publicity and Privacy Litigation
- Krista Dandridge-Barnett v. Revlon, Inc., Case No. CV 06-2088 PA (FMOx) (C.D. Cal. 2006). We defended Revlon against claims that Revlon’s use of images of Halle Berry taken from the HBO original movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge as part of an online retrospective on Ms. Berry’s career entitled “Revlon and Halle” violated the posthumous publicity rights of the late actress Dorothy Dandridge.
- New York Life Insurance Co. v. Howard Stern d/b/a H. Stern Consulting, Case No. 00-8324- Civ-RYSKAMP (S.D. Fla. April, 2000). We represented the plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging references to New York Life trademarks and company executives on defendant’s Internet website promoting his consulting business.
- New York Magazine v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 987 F. Supp. 254 (S.D.N.Y. 1997), aff’d, 136 F.3d 123 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 824 (1998). We represented the MTA in an action concerning the propriety of the plaintiff’s use of the slogan “Possibly the only good thing in New York Rudy hasn’t taken credit for” as part of an ad campaign promoting New York magazine.
Domain Name Litigation
- Putnam LLC v. Speed Trader Holding Corp., Civil Action No. 05-10211-RCL (D. Mass. 2005). We represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement, unfair competition, and cybersquatting action challenging the defendant’s registration and use of the domain name putnamdirect.com.
- BigZoo.com Corporation v. Anderson Lin, Case No. 01-02205-ABC (JWJx) (C.D. Cal. 2001). We successfully represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement, dilution and cybersquatting action challenging the defendant’s registration and use of the domain name bigzoo.ws.
- Citigroup v. Internet Entertainment Group, Inc., 99 Civ. 2737 (JES) (S.D.N.Y. 1999). We successfully represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement and dilution “typosquatter” case challenging the defendant’s use of the domain name wwwcitibank.com.
- Citigroup v. Tarquinio, 98 CIV 2408 (GEB) (D.N.J. 1999). We were co-counsel for the plaintiff in a trademark infringement, dilution and cybersquatting action successfully challenging the defendant’s use of the domain name citigroup.com.
- Citicorp v. Joseph Parvin and OneTravel.com, Inc. a/k/a 1Travel.com, Inc., 05 Civ. 5884 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y. 2005). We represented Citicorp in this domain name dispute.
- The Carnegie Hall Corporation v. M. Levy, No. FA0606000736448 (NAF 2006). (carnegiehall.com)
- The Carnegie Hall Corporation v. urlcollection.com - CPISITES, No. FA0606000741769 (NAF 2006). (carnegiehall.net)
- Putnam, LLC d/b/a Putnam Investments v. SZK.com, No. FA0601000624820 (NAF 2006). (putnaminvestment.com)
- Putnam, LLC d/b/a Putnam Investments v. Dotsan and R.S. Potdar, No. FA0601000632737 (NAF 2006). (putnuminvestments.com)
- Citigroup v. Acme Mail, Case No. FA0402000241987 (NAF 2004). (citiban.com)
- Citigroup Inc. v. Lee Yunki, Case No. D2002-0042 (WIPO 2002). (citicard.com)
- Citigroup Inc. v. Ian Templeton, Case No. D2002-0231 (WIPO 2002). (citimorgage.com)
- American Land Lease Inc. v. Domain Acquisition Co., Myron Wollard, Case No. D2001-0137 (WIPO 2001). (americanlandlease.com)
- GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, NAD Case No. 3832 (Oct. 31, 2001) (OS-Cal calcium supplement; represented advertiser).
- Mission Pharmacal Company, NAD Case No. 4045 (May 5, 2003) (Citracal calcium supplements; represented challenger).
- UpShot Corp., NAD Case No. 4051 (May 22, 2003) (customer relationship management products; represented challenger).
- GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, NAD Case No. 4098 (Sept. 30, 2003) (Abreva; represented advertiser).
- Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, NAD Case No. 4118 (Nov. 24, 2003) (FiberCon fiber laxative; represented challenger).
- Verizon Wireless, NAD Case No. 4246 (Oct. 28, 2004) (“IN-Network” Calling Plan; represented advertiser).
- Nextel Communications, Inc., NAD Case No. 4251 (Nov. 9, 2004) (Direct Connect Wireless Service; represented challenger).
- Merix Pharmaceutical Corp., NAD Case No. 4267 (Dec. 22, 2004) (ViraMedx RELEEV; represented challenger).
- Estee Lauder, Inc., NAD Case No. 4368 (Aug. 8, 2005) (Perfectionist Correcting Concentrate for Lip Lines; represented advertiser).