Intellectual Property/Media

Weil's Intellectual Property/Media practice continues to set the pace in a world that is increasingly brand-focused, high-tech, digital, and dominated by social media.

Notable Representations, Key Contacts

This evolution is especially significant in the media and entertainment industries, driving legal disputes that are redefining the boundaries of antitrust, copyright, trademark, misappropriation, false advertising/Lanham Act, First Amendment, and commercial litigation issues. These developments affect all types of media companies – established and new – as well as numerous other content providers and hosts serving global businesses and consumers.

Against that backdrop, our IP/Media practice has developed an industry-wide reputation and record of success in a number of cutting-edge areas:

IP Litigation

  • Defense of Cutting-Edge Secondary Liability, Vicarious Liability, and Contributory Liability Claims. These claims collectively represent an increasingly deployed legal tool whereby intellectual property owners are attempting to impose liability on other parties that have indirect involvement in transactions involving claimed counterfeit or infringing content (e.g., web-based e-commerce platforms that allow users to sell products to other users). Our attorneys are experienced in handling these cutting-edge issues.
  • Disputes between Content Distributors and Content Providers. As traditional media distribution platforms such as cable and broadcast television adapt to increased competition from web-based and other digital distribution platforms, as well as to new high-definition content, there has been an avalanche of litigation between content providers (like television networks) and content distributors (like cable and broadband providers) relating to the rights to distribute this content. Our practice has long been at the forefront of such disputes.
  • Copyright Music Licensing Disputes. Weil has built an extensive music copyright practice, which counts Pandora Media, Sirius XM Radio Inc., ABC, NBC, CBS, DMX, Inc., the local broadcast radio industry, the local broadcast television industry, dozens of cable networks, and a host of Internet-based music users as clients. We have put an indelible stamp on music IP law that has defined – and is still shaping – the digital era through a series of precedent-setting licensing litigations and other proceedings involving the application of established legal doctrines to novel environments, whether they be television and radio broadcasts or wireless transmissions.

IP Counseling

Weil regularly counsels leading companies and organizations around the world on a wide variety of IP issues ranging from IP enforcement and brand protection to cutting-edge contributory liability issues to advertising and privacy/data protection issues – including in the transactional context.

From leading social media companies to major entertainment companies to international financial services companies, clients turn to Weil to manage myriad intellectual property and related issues in the context of counseling and transactions, as well as prior to disputes and formal litigation. Our capabilities include a deep expertise in:

  • IP matters arising in mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and other global corporate transactions
  • False advertising/Lanham Act claims
  • Representations in investigations before federal and state regulators
  • Trade Secret Protection and Restrictive Covenants
  • Bring Your Own Device to Work (BYOD) Policies and Related Social Media Issues
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors and compliance requirements
  • Development of terms of service, fair use, and infringement risks (both direct and secondary)
  • Defenses associated with the clients’ service offerings and product development initiatives
  • Cutting-edge secondary liability issues, including contributory and vicarious infringement issues
  • Trademark and copyright licensing requirements
  • Trademark strategy, enforcement, and, when necessary, litigation
  • Music licensing

Representative Matters

Alibaba Group

eBay

Facebook

Getty Images

HarperCollins Publishers LLC

S&P Global

Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, the Association of American Publishers, SAGE Publications

Pandora Media

Sirius XM Radio Inc.

The Television Music License Committee – Broadcast Television Industry

Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Key Contacts

Bruce Rich

Bruce Rich

Partner

New York


Benjamin E. Marks

Benjamin E. Marks

Partner

New York

See list of lawyers globally

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Recent Announcement

Ranked among the top 3 firms in Band 1 in New York for Media & Entertainment Litigation and considered a “particularly strong choice for intellectual property disputes including contentious music royalty rate-setting proceedings, alongside strengths in disputes concerning the ownership, distribution and licensing of content.”

Chambers USA 2018

Experts in both legal and business issues,” Weil’s team is “noted for its ability to work ‘seamlessly’ with in-house legal departments.”

Legal 500 US 2018

Clients note that Weil “brings a depth of experience and a strategic component that is unmatched” and has “proven themselves to be an excellent resource across the board…They not only have a great understanding of the law, but also how the companies work and their risk level tolerance. That understanding of clients makes a world of difference.”

Chambers USA 2018

This international powerhouse handles a significant amount of work in the overlap between IP and media…” and “maintains its position at the cutting edge of media issues” by acting “for an enviable list of top media clients.” Clients call us “true experts in the field,” and highlight our “practical, knowledgeable and well-staffed” practice.

Chambers USA 2015

Weil has long been recognized as a top-ranked Tier 1 firm for Intellectual Property, Copyright and a “Leading” firm for both Intellectual Property, Trademarks: Litigation and Media and Entertainment, with market commentators calling us “extremely responsive, cutting-edge and highly experienced” and a “top-notch name in the music space” and noting our “strong trial expertise and experience in bet-the-company matters.”

Legal 500 US 2018

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