Jeff Conciatori has extensive experience litigating a wide variety of complex business disputes, ranging from securities fraud and corporate governance to intellectual property, in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration and administrative tribunals. With the advent of new media, his practice has recently concentrated on disputes arising in that context, including copyright, trademark, trade name, trade secrets, false advertising, rights of publicity and privacy, and defamation. Mr. Conciatori also has experience in matters involving all aspects of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, business torts, antitrust and trade regulation, licensing, employment matters and legal malpractice.
In the online, multi-media and entertainment fields, he has been involved in high-profile battles over stock options, Google’s search engines, “net profit” disputes in the film business, STOLICHNAYA® Vodka, online music rights and distribution, reality television formats, HBO's "Six Feet Under," Princess Diana merchandise, ASCAP royalties, real estate referral networks, Disney screenplays, front-page headlines, a popular national television ad for BAKED LAYS® snack food, the right to exploit White House photographs, advertising slogans and jingles, bootleg or counterfeit merchandise, celebrity photographs and diaries, unreleased Beatles recordings, digital sampling, the shape of the round tea bag, the MOTOWN® sound, cartoon and comic strip characters, and wild Zebra in San Simeon State Park.
He has been listed as one of the top forty litigators in New York for several years by a leading international publication, and was recently named a New York "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics.
- In the media and entertainment fields, he has represented The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner Entertainment, HBO, Fox, Miramax, FremantleMedia, Capitol Records and EMI Records, as well as many individual producers, actors, authors, musicians, managers and attorneys.
- In the publishing field, he has represented Time Inc.,Virgin Books, Newsday, Sterling Publishing and Argus Media, as well as various authors.
- In the online commerce field, he has represented Google, Bluefly, iVillage, MP3.com, IAC, LendingTree, Electronic Arts and Corbis.
- In the corporate governance, regulatory and financial services fields, he has represented Barnes & Noble, AIG, Interliant, Zurich and XE Capital, as well as many senior level executives and Board members.\In the retail and consumer products fields, he has represented Barnes & Noble, Mattel, Avery Dennison, DirectTV, Talley Industries, American Cyanamid, McKenzie River and Goldstar.
- In the trademark field, he has represented the owners of many famous trademarks, including Good Humor, Lipton, AIG, LendingTree, Airborne, Stolichnaya, iVillage, Mobil and Goldstar.
- Represented online music innovator MP3.com in more than 25 lawsuits in New York and California arising from its novel music delivery service launched in January 2000. He was a principal architect of the "work for hire" copyright challenge that led to the resolution of the first of those suits, UMG Records, et al. v MP3.com (S.D.N.Y), then arguably the largest music infringement suit in history, filed by the "big five" recording companies. Several other MP3.com suits produced landmark decisions. Later, in MPL v. MP3.com, cutting-edge issues regarding online music publishing rights were resolved via an industry-wide settlement. In Chambers v. Time Warner, he successfully moved to dismiss all claims brought by a class of celebrated recording artists seeking to enjoin the digital exploitation of their records, as well as the use of their names to identify their recordings. In TVT Records v. MP3.com, a federal jury in Manhattan returned a unanimous verdict of no actual damages.
- Represented the London-based charity Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and its Trustees in a high-profile malicious prosecution action filed against the Trustees and their former counsel arising out of unsuccessful efforts to halt the sale by the Franklin Mint of commemorative plates and dolls in Princess Diana's image following her untimely death. The Mint sought damages exceeding $370 million. The defense required coordination with numerous sets of counsel and professional advisors, as well as parallel proceedings before the trial court in California and the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom. The claims against the Fund were resolved without trial. In a joint public statement issued worldwide, the Mint acknowledged that the Trustees had acted at all times in good faith reliance of the advice of their former attorneys.
- Represented Barnes & Noble and 27 current and former officers and directors in consolidated derivative actions filed in New York State and Federal court alleging various common law and federal securities claims related to the timing of stock option grants made from 1996-2006.
- Represented Interliant and 17 former officers and directors in an adversarial proceeding filed in bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York seeking in excess of $100 million in damages for alleged breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and unjust enrichment arising out of a series of acquisitions of internet businesses undertaken just prior to the market collapse in 2000. Advancing a theory of the "duty of good faith" subsequently embraced by the Delaware Supreme Court, obtained a favorable resolution in which the clients made no payment.
- Represented Time Warner Entertainment and HBO in a $56 million copyright and Lanham Act suit concerning the highly-acclaimed original television series "Six Feet Under." Obtained dismissal of all claims by the California trial court and an affirmance by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a seminal ruling articulating the standard for analyzing copyright claims in the motion picture and/or television context.
- Represented LendingTree in trademark infringement and false advertising litigation in New Jersey and Colorado with Cendant arising from LendingTree’s marketing of an innovative online real estate referral business. Obtained vacatur of a preliminary injunction in a landmark ruling from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concerning novel issues of “nominative use” of trademarks.
- Represented Fox and FremantleMedia in a copyright and trade secret lawsuit relating to a home renovation reality television series entitled “The Complex: Malibu”. Obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Representing the Walt Disney Company and 16 additional defendants, including screenwriter, production companies and executive producer/star Dana Owens (p/k/a "Queen Latifah"), in a copyright infringement action relating to the popular motion picture comedy "Bringing Down the House." Successfully opposed motions to enjoin the film’s release in various formats as well as on network television, and secured numerous favorable published rulings, including summary judgment dismissal of all copyright infringement claims.
- Represented Omicron Capital, a commercial mortgage broker in St. Louis, in a trademark and false advertisement litigation with Omicron Capital, a New York-based hedge fund. Obtained comprehensive summary judgment ruling dismissing all claims.
- Represented Google in a copyright case relating to Thomas Friedman’s best selling book, “The World is Flat”, in which the plaintiff challenged Google’s innovative image searching feature. Secured voluntary dismissal of all claims.
- Represented Mattel in litigation asserting misappropriation of an allegedly novel concept for a children’s video game. Obtained dismissal.
- Represented American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) in a trademark and false advertising action against C.V. Starr & Co. in the District Court of Delaware arising out of the defendants’ unauthorized use of the “AIMA” name and trademark in the marine insurance industry. Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction.
- Represented Bluefly in a lawsuit in New York brought by Hermès International challenging Bluefly’s use of genuine Hermès products as prizes in an online sweepstakes. Obtained vacatur of ex parte TRO and successfully defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction, resulting in a favorable disposition.
- Represented iVillage in successfully defeating a shareholder action seeking to disrupt and enjoin the company’s IPO in 1999, as well as in pursuing a case of first impression under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, in which the company obtained a TRO, preliminary injunction, summary judgment and substantial damages, including all investigative costs and pre-injunction legal fees, against an anonymous Internet poster who was destabilizing an iVillage online “chat room” with vulgar and harassing messages.
- Represented Talley Industries in a complex intellectual property and antitrust action brought in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by automotive giant TRW involving a license for valuable automotive airbag technology. Obtained a $138 million jury verdict on a counterclaim for Talley, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit and reported to be the second largest commercial verdict nationwide in 1995. The verdict followed on the heels of a unique preliminary injunction (also affirmed on expedited appeal) requiring TRW to make seven-figure royalty payments each quarter to Talley during the duration of the litigation. Talley also was awarded its attorneys' fees. In total, more than $200 million was recovered for Talley.
- Represented Capitol Records and EMI Records in numerous well-publicized lawsuits and proceedings involving The Beatles and their record label, Apple Corps Limited, including bitterly contested royalty litigation, the criminal prosecution of counterfeiters, and the use of the recording "Revolution" in an award-winning Nike ad. .
- Represented the State of New York Housing Finance Agency in a two-month long, politically-charged arbitration concerning the design and construction in the late 1960s and early 1970s of seven multi-story concrete garages in New York's Co-op City, saving the State more than $100 million.
- Represented American Cyanamid in seven-week jury trial of product liability claims concerning its tetanus vaccine.
- Obtained defense verdict and successfully opposed motion to impeach the verdict based on alleged juror misconduct.
- Represented Mobil Oil Corporation in trademark actions in New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut to enjoin the unauthorized sale of non-Mobil gasoline purchased on the spot market and sold by Mobil-branded franchisees.
- Represented Frito Lay in novel copyright and right of publicity litigation with vocalist Astruid Gilberto arising from the use the original Grammy-winning recording “The Girl From IPanema” in a popular national television ad campaign for Baked Lays® chips. Obtained several favorable rulings culminating in summary dismissal.
- Represented various non-profit organizations in legal actions and proceedings, including The Lakeside Family & Children's Services, The Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, The Kidney & Urology Foundation of America, Inc. and The Children's Village.
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Antitrust & Competition
- Employment Litigation & Counseling
- Entertainment & Media Litigation
- Lender Liability & Other Banking Financial Institution Litigation
- Copyright Litigation
- Internet Litigation
- Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation
- University of Virginia
- Princeton University
(A.B., cum laude, 1977)
- The State Bar of New York
- The State Bar of California
- Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP:
- Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine, LLP:
- “Are Anti-Circumvention Laws Constitutional,”
New York Law Journal, January 28, 2002
- “Posting ‘No Trespassing’ Signs on the Internet,”
New York Law Journal, January 16, 2001
- “Stop the Music: Napster is Not Covered by DMCA,”
New York Law Journal, May 16, 2000
- “DMCA Charts Safe Harbors in a Wired World,”
New York Law Journal, June 6, 2000
- “Does the CDA Help Clean Up the Internet,”
New York Law Journal, August 22, 2000
- Speaker, New York State Bar Association:
Section programs on Intellectual Property and related topics
- Faculty, New York County Lawyers' Association:
Trial Practice Seminar on direct and cross-examination techniques, 1998-1999
- Member, The Federal Bar Council
- Member, American Bar Association:
Intellectual Property Section
- Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Member, The Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
- Board, Talmadge Hill Preservation Society