Quinn emanuel trial lawyers

Copyright Litigation
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Introduction Print

Quinn Emanuel is highly experienced in litigating copyright disputes. We have been called on to protect some of the world’s most well-known and valuable copyrighted works, including those of the Oscars© telecast, Zynga, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Intuit, the NFL, the Estate of Chet Baker and many others. We have also successfully defended against claims of copyright infringement, preventing injunctions from being entered, convincing juries to award zero damages even after a finding of copyright infringement (in an earlier trial while represented by another firm), and even winning attorneys’ fees on behalf of a defendant found liable for copyright infringement. In just one example of our defense work, we successfully defended Napster in an alleged mass copyright infringement suit brought by a copyright administrator and 26 music publishers. Our work is often precedent setting. One of our partners won his first copyright case—resulting in published opinions since cited by the Supreme Court and most Courts of Appeals—while still in law school. Another of our partners won a precedential case establishing the protectability of a software program’s user interface. Our copyright expertise extends to every industry, protecting the works of movies, sports, music, book publishing, electronic games, and every aspect of the internet and computer worlds.

REPRESENTATIVE COPYRIGHT CLIENTS

  • Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Avery Dennison
  • Brøderbund Software
  • Bullet Proof Software
  • Compuware
  • Disney
  • DreamWorks
  • easyJet Airlines
  • GameTech International
  • General Motors
  • Good Technology
  • Google
  • Hughes
  • IBM
  • INVISTA S.a.r.l.
  • Johnson Controls
  • Koch Industries
  • Kosa France
  • LifeScan
  • Mattel
  • Motorola
  • NFL
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Paramount Pictures
  • PeopleSoft
  • Shell Oil
  • Shell Exploration & Production
  • Symyx Technologies
  • Tumblr
  • Vimeo
  • Zynga

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Recent Representations Print

  • J & J Sports Productions, Inc. v. Javier Teran Mojica and Evelia Mojica Carpio (N.D. Cal. 2014). We represented pro bono owners of a small restaurant in the Monterrey Peninsula against claims of pirating a pay-per-view boxing match and obtained a dismissal due to Plaintiff’s failure to prosecute.
  • Bouchat v. NFL Properties LLC (D. Md. 2013). We have successfully represented the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens professional football franchise in a series of copyright actions stemming from the Ravens’ adoption of an inaugural logo for its 1996-1998 seasons that plaintiff Frederick Bouchat alleged was substantially similar to a copyrighted drawing he had submitted for consideration. Most recently, Bouchat alleged that the appearance of the Ravens’ inaugural logo in certain video games sold by Electronic Arts (EA) was infringing. We successfully had the case entirely dismissed on summary judgment, persuading the Court that the NFL did not license EA to use the logo in the games at issue.
  • AeroManagement, Inc. v. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co., Alexander Pimenov, Victor Olenin, and Luigi de Franceso (S.D.N.Y. 2013). We represented one of the largest Russian jet manufacturers, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, and three of its senior officers in a breach of contract, trade secret, copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit filed by AeroManagement. Plaintiff claimed it provided interior design plans for the Sukhoi Super Jet, and that our client was going to commercially exploit those plans without paying for them. AeroManagement sought an expedited preliminary injunction to prevent our client from displaying its Jet at the 2013 Moscow Air Show, one of the biggest air shows in the world. After we cross examined the plaintiff’s CEO at the preliminary injunction hearing, the court denied the motion for preliminary injunction, allowing our client to display its Jet in the Moscow Air Show.
  • Perfect 10 v. Yandex (N.D. Cal. 2013). We represented Russian technology company Yandex, which operates the world's fourth largest search engine, in a massive copyright infringement lawsuit brought by adult entertainment publisher Perfect 10, seeking over $100 million in damages. The suit alleged that Yandex had willfully infringed Perfect 10’s copyrights in tens of thousands of its images of nude women by crawling, indexing and linking to third party websites hosting infringing Perfect 10 images, and by hosting unauthorized Perfect 10 images uploaded by users of Yandex’s user-generated content sites. Early in the case, Yandex defeated Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction on its copyright claims directed to Yandex’s search and hosting services, obtaining a court ruling that Perfect 10 was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims and that Perfect 10 had not demonstrated irreparable harm. Subsequently, Yandex obtained summary judgment on the vast majority of Perfect 10’s claims, on extraterritoriality and fair use grounds. Specifically, Yandex showed that most of Perfect 10’s claims concerned “extraterritorial” acts of alleged copyright infringement not cognizable under the U.S. Copyright Act, and that the thumbnail-sized images in Yandex’s image search results are a non-actionable "fair use" under the U.S. Copyright Act. After that victory, Perfect 10 quickly settled for a fraction of its original demand.
  • Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2013). We won summary judgment on behalf of YouTube and its parent Google in a precedent-setting, billion-dollar copyright case brought by Viacom in U.S. District Court in New York. Viacom argued that YouTube should be held liable for the presence of allegedly unauthorized, infringing material on the site. In a decision that helps to establish the rules of the road for Internet services that host user-generated content, the district court agreed with us that YouTube and Google are fully protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • Benay v. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., et al. (C.D. Cal. 2012). We successfully defended the producers, writers and director of the motion picture “The Last Samurai” in a lawsuit alleging that they had used material written by the plaintiffs to write and produce the film. The plaintiffs asserted claims for copyright infringement and breach of implied-in-fact contract. After a two week trial in the United States District Court, the jury unanimously rejected the plaintiffs’ claims and rendered a verdict in favor of our clients.
  • Barclays v. Flyonthewall (2d Cir. 2011). We represented Google and Twitter as amicus in the Second Circuit in a successful effort to narrow the tort of "hot news" misappropriation.
  • Perfect 10, Inc. v. Google Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2010, 9th Cir. 2011). For our client Google, we successfully obtained the complete dismissal with prejudice of the long-running Perfect 10 v. Google litigation. At issue were Perfect 10's claims of copyright infringement seeking to shut down Google's popular Web Search, Image Search and Blogger services. Prior to the dismissal, we successfully obtained summary judgment of safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on Perfect 10’s copyright infringement claims against Google's Web Search, Image Search and Blogger services. The decision precluded Perfect 10 from seeking any monetary damages for almost all of the more than two million alleged copyright infringements Perfect 10 claimed were hosted by Google’s Blogger service or linked to by Google’s Web and Image Search services. We also defeated Perfect 10’s motion for a preliminary injunction on its copyright and publicity claims, obtaining a court ruling that Google was likely to succeed on the merits, and that Perfect 10 had not demonstrated irreparable harm. We successfully defended that victory on appeal before the Ninth Circuit in 2011. And finally, on the eve of the close of discovery, after obtaining damaging admissions during several key depositions (including of Perfect 10’s CEO Norman Zada) and winning several critical discovery motions, Perfect 10 offered to dismiss the entire lawsuit with prejudice in exchange for Google’s agreement not to seek attorneys’ fees and costs. The dismissal, coming after more than seven years of protracted litigation, completely vindicated Google’s legal position, as Google had maintained all along that Perfect 10’s case lacked any merit. The case ended without Google paying Perfect 10 a cent.
  • SocialApps v. Zynga, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2012). We successfully represented Zynga in a copyright and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit involving Zynga’s famous Farmville game. After a series of very favorable discovery rulings, the case settled extremely favorably to Zynga.
  • Zynga Game Networks v. Green Patch, Inc and Playdom, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2010). We represented Zynga in a copyright infringement suit against former competitor Green Patch and current competitor (now owned by Disney) arising out of the outright copying of Zynga java script in four Zynga games, and the incorporation of that code in 6 Green Patch/Playdom games. The case resulted in the entirely changing the accused games and in a very favorable monetary settlement to Zynga.
  • Deborah Thomas v. The Walt Disney Company (9th Cir. 2009). We successfully represented Disney in a suit by a screenwriter and poet who claimed that Disney’s blockbuster Finding Nemo feature film was an unauthorized derivative work from the plaintiff’s poem and treatment. We convinced the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint on grounds of lack of substantial similarity, which was affirmed in all respects by the Ninth Circuit on appeal.
  • German Software Litigation (Frankfurt District Court 2010). One of the partners in our Hamburg office successfully defended a German software company against an individual who had claimed to have acquired rights in a standard Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software product. The dispute centered around a number of licensing/copyright and insolvency law related questions that were still uncharted at the time of the proceedings. Adopting the position advanced on behalf of the defendant software company, the Frankfurt District Court fully dismissed the case in a final and binding judgment.
  • Flaherty v. Filardi (S.D.N.Y. 2009). We represented The Walt Disney Company, Executive Producer Dana Owens (p/k/a “Queen Latifah”), screenwriter Jason Filardi and various independent producers of the hit comedy film “Bringing Down the House” (starring Steve Martin) in a long-running copyright infringement lawsuit filed by an aspiring screenwriter. Along the way, we obtained published summary judgment rulings dismissing all claims against our clients, including copyright, Lanham Act and fraud claims relating to the final motion picture as well as similar claims relating to draft screenplays created during the development of the film. In addition, we also defeated countless motions filed by the plaintiff, including one seeking to enjoin the network and cable premieres of the movie and another challenging the propriety of a single firm jointly representing multiple defendants in such cases to promote efficiency and reduce legal costs.
  • Funky Films, Inc. v. Time Warner Entertainment Co., 462 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2006). On behalf of Time Warner Entertainment and HBO, we obtained a summary judgment dismissal of copyright and trademark infringement claims valued in excess of $50 million challenging the originality of the popular hit series “Six Feet Under.” Our win was later affirmed by the Ninth Circuit in an oft-cited ruling articulating the application of copyright law to television and film properties.
  • Corbis v. TemplateMonster.com (S.D. Fla. 2006). One of our partners represented Corbis against Ukrainian and other foreign professional copyright pirates, obtaining a TRO and injunction against all defendants that permanently shut down several foreign copyright pirate operations, and winning a $20 million judgment against several of the defendants.
  • MCS Music America v. Napster (E.D. Tenn. 2006). We successfully defended Napster in an alleged mass copyright infringement suit brought by a copyright administrator and some 26 music publishers. The suit alleged that thousands of digital music tracks offered for download and/or streaming on Napster’s service were infringing. Plaintiffs had claimed more than $220 million in damages. After our depositions of plaintiffs’ representatives cast doubt on their ownership rights and claims of unauthorized use, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their suit.
  • Mattel v. Radio City Entertainment (2d Cir. 2006). As appellate counsel, we won a decision by the Second Circuit vacating a district judge’s adverse verdict after a bench trial against Mattel in a copyright infringement case litigated at the trial level by a different firm.
  • Nicholls v. Tufenkian Import/Export Ventures (S.D.N.Y. 2005). Even though we were retained by Tufenkian Carpets less than a month before trial, we won a defense verdict, including specific findings of lack of access and lack of substantial similarity in a rug design case.
  • Ninox Television v. Fox Entertainment Group (S.D.N.Y. 2005). We represented Fox Entertainment Group and FreemantleMedia against a New Zealand-based production company over the format to “The Complex: Malibu,” a home renovation reality competition series. After we obtained an early stay of discovery and moved for summary judgment on the ground that generic elements of television programming are not entitled to copyright protection, the plaintiff withdrew its complaint with prejudice.
  • Robbins v. Mattel (S.D. Ohio 2005). In complex suit alleging reversion of previously assigned copyright and trademark ownership rights to the famous game UNO, we won summary judgment for Mattel on the bulk of plaintiffs’ claims, which plaintiffs asserted were worth in excess of $75 million. The case subsequently settled on terms that included the entry of final judgment declaring Mattel’s exclusive, superior rights to the UNO properties.
  • Mattel v. American First Run Studios (C.D. Cal. 2003). We defended Mattel against state and federal suits claiming Mattel’s TARZAN action figures infringed a studio’s copyrights and related rights, winning summary judgments in both actions, later affirmed by the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, respectively.
  • Greiner & Hausser GmbH v. Mattel (C.D. Cal. 2003). In cross-border actions in the U.S. and Germany, we defeated a former owner’s claims seeking to rescind the assignment of copyright and patent rights that formed the basis of Mattel’s BARBIE product line, worth more than $2 billion in annual revenues. Reported decisions include 354 F.3d 857 (9th Cir. 2003).
  • Kling v. DIC Entertainment (C.D. Cal. 2003). We successfully defended production and merchandising entities against a $20 million copyright claim based on a highly successful television and motion picture property, winning a complete defense verdict. See also prior appeal: Kling v. Hallmark Cards, Inc., 225 F.3d 1030 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Kling v. DIC Animation (C.D. Cal. 2001). We won a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of Artisan Pictures, DIC Animation, Hallmark Cards, Mattel and United Feature Syndicate when they faced a multi-million dollar copyright infringement trial over the RAINBOW BRITE and ROBOTMAN TV programs and videocassettes.
  • MP3Board v. AOL Time Warner (S.D.N.Y. 2001). We obtained a dismissal with prejudice of claims against AOL Time Warner for alleged contributory and vicarious copyright infringement based upon its “Gnutella” information-sharing software.
  • Gemisys v. Phoenix American, 50 U.S.P.Q.2d 1876 (N.D. Cal. 1999). One of our partners successfully defended Phoenix American and two of its subsidiaries against charges of copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition and breach of a license agreement.
  • Russo v. Russomanno (Los Angeles Super. Ct. 1999). We successfully defended a “deep pocket” motion picture studio in an entertainment industry trial, winning a nonsuit after closing statements even though a $52 million verdict was entered against other defendants. We subsequently acted as lead appellate counsel, winning an affirmative of nonsuit and summary adjudication. The appellate rulings focused on the copyright preemption of claims for interference with contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Danjaq LLC v. Sony Pictures Entertainment (C.D. Cal. 1998). One of our partners represented the producers and distributors of the James Bond film franchise in a copyright and trademark dispute concerning the right to create James Bond films. He obtained a preliminary injunction (affirmed by the 9th Circuit) and later won a defense judgment on a copyright infringement counterclaim, subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit in a published opinion.
  • Trio v. Intuit (C.D. Cal. 1997). One of our partners represented Intuit, successfully defending a claim that Intuit had incorporated the plaintiff’s code into its awardwinning Quicken products.
  • Martin Cano v. A World of Difference (ADL), 1996 WL 371064 (N.D. Cal. 1996). One of our partners obtained a dismissal of a copyright infringement and trademark infringement case brought against the Anti-Defamation League in which the plaintiff claimed ownership of certain ADL educational materials.
  • Florentine Art Studio v. Vedet K. Corp., 891 F. Supp. 532 (C.D. Cal. 1995). On behalf of a manufacturer of hydrocal statuary, we turned the tables on the plaintiff. After proving at trial that our client’s acts of infringement were committed innocently, we persuaded the court that the plaintiff had unreasonably failed to settle. In a published decision, our client obtained an award of attorneys’ fees more than 150 times greater than the plaintiff’s damage award.
  • Brøderbund Software, Inc. v. Unison World, Inc., 648 F. Supp. 1127 (N.D. Cal. 1986). One of our partners represented Brøderbund in this precedent–setting case involving a competitor who created a visual clone of Brøderbund’s best-selling “Print Shop’ software product. This is the first reported case to recognize and enforce the copyrightability of the user-interface of a non-video game computer program.

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