Trademarks & Copyrights



We help clients strategically grow their businesses and maintain their positions in the marketplace by developing, protecting and monetizing well-known and distinctive brands.

Our Approach

The growth of social media marketing and online business transactions has further motivated companies to safeguard their trademarks, register their works and defend their brands. Our attorneys utilize a forward-thinking approach, unique strategies and flexible budgets to represent established companies, early-stage companies, innovators and artists on a variety of trademark and copyright issues.

With first-hand experience working in business, our attorneys understand how to navigate the obstacles that inhibit successful brand management and global enforcement programs—even before launching a mark.

We provide counsel on issues involving advertising and promotions, right of publicity and domain names. With significant experience in proceedings under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), we handle name acquisitions, online monitoring for unauthorized registrations, strategic portfolio assessments and recovery of domain names from infringers. We devise innovative methods for protecting, monitoring and enforcing our clients’ copyright-eligible work in the traditional and digital world.

Representative Experience

  • Represented video game developers and publishers Stardock Entertainment and Valve Corporation in a trademark and copyright infringement dispute involving Star Control: Origins, an action-adventure video game. The matter settled. Stardock Systems, Inc. v. Paul Reiche III, et al. (N.D. Calif.)
  • Successfully defended the Estate of the Notorious B.I.G. in a copyright infringement case based on the lyrics of the artist’s song, “Party and Bullsh*t.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of fair use. This is the first fair use ruling for music lyrics and is the first fair use ruling affirmed with a written decision. Abiodun Oyewole v. Rita Ora et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Manage the U.S. trademark portfolio of Alibaba Group, a large Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals.
  • Defended IDentrix, developer of security software used by TSA, against trademark infringement allegations involving “Identix” and “Identrix” registered marks. The case settled. MorphoTrust USA, LLC v. IDentrix, LLC et al. (D. Mass.)
  • Represent Gameloft, a mobile game developer, in a suit alleging copyright infringement and other claims relating to the development of digital cars used in mobile video games. Glass Egg Digital Media v. Gameloft, Inc. et al. (N.D. Calif.)
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of pizza franchisor Little Caesar Enterprises in a copyright and trademark infringement dispute. We also successfully represented Little Caesar on appeal affirming the district court’s decision. Pinnacle Pizza Co. v. Little Caesar Enterprises (D.S.D. and 8th Circuit)
  • Represented Marc Brown, creator of the “Arthur” literary and television character, in numerous trademark infringement actions. Obtained injunction against infringer. Brown v. It’s Entertainment, Inc. (E.D.N.Y.)
  • Represented Remrylie Licensing, a retailer of clothing, footwear, etc. in a copyright infringement case involving photographs of Tupac Shakur. The case was settled. Dana Ruth Lixenburg v. Bioworld Merchandising Inc., et al. (C.D. Calif.)
  • Represented Woolich Racing, which makes products to meet the needs of road, circuit racing, land speed racing and drag racing, in a copyright infringement action involving software for optimizing engine control unit computers for racing. The case settled. Techmark Software Pty Ltd TA Woolich Racing v. FT ECU Inc. (C.D. Calif.)
  • Successfully employed a First Amendment defense to secure a victory on behalf of Ironclad Games and Stardock Entertainment in a trademark infringement matter related to the “Rebellion” mark. Rebellion Developments Limited et al. v. Stardock Entertainment, Inc., et al. (E.D. Mich.)

Dairy Queen goes to court over Blizzard name

Star Tribune | October 19, 2021

This coverage provides an overview of the W.B. Mason and Dairy Queen trial underway in Minnesota, in which DQ alleges that W.B. Mason’s house brand of BLIZZARD spring water infringes and dilutes DQ’s BLIZZARD mark. Intellectual Property practice co-leader Jason Kravitz, of the Boston office, is leading the W.B. Mason trial team, which also includes Intellectual Property counsel Gina McCreadie and associate Leslie Hartford, and Complex Commercial Disputes resident attorney Melanie Dempster, all of the Boston office.

Dairy Queen sues W.B. Mason over ‘Blizzard’ name

Fox News | October 19, 2021

This coverage provides an overview of the W.B. Mason and Dairy Queen trial underway in Minnesota, in which DQ alleges that W.B. Mason’s house brand of BLIZZARD spring water infringes and dilutes DQ’s BLIZZARD mark. Intellectual Property practice co-leader Jason Kravitz, of the Boston office, is leading the W.B. Mason trial team, which also includes Intellectual Property counsel Gina McCreadie and associate Leslie Hartford, and Complex Commercial Disputes resident attorney Melanie Dempster, all of the Boston office.

Brand Battles: Coursera seeks to cut 'Classer' trademark

Law360 | August 23, 2021

This latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board includes online educator Coursera Inc. in its attempt to block rival platform Classera Inc. from registering a nearly identical trademark, claiming the brands’ similar names and services would confuse customers. Coursera is represented by San Francisco partner oN Lu and Washington, DC associate Alexis Grilli, both of the Intellectual Property group.

Career Tracker: Bankruptcy leaders find new homes in Dallas, New York

Reuters Legal | July 02, 2021

This roundup of notable attorney moves mentions Los Angeles Intellectual Property partners Erica Van Loon and Andrew Choung for joining NP.

Wake up call

Bloomberg Law | June 16, 2021

The following article features Los Angeles Intellectual Property partners Erica Van Loon and Andrew Choung for joining NP, providing an overview of each of their IP practices.

First Circuit backs Hasbro's win in board game royalties suit

Law360 | June 15, 2021

This article on Monday’s First Circuit decision unanimously affirming Reuben Klamer as the author of iconic board game The Game of Life mentions Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Erica Van Loon for representing Mr. Klamer. The court was persuaded that the plaintiff’s late husband’s work on the game prototype was a work for hire for Mr. Klamer, and thus held unequivocally that Mr. Klamer was the author of the game and the owner of the copyright on it.

Nixon Peabody adds IP partners on west coast

Intellectual Property Magazine | June 15, 2021

The following article features Los Angeles Intellectual Property partners Erica Van Loon and Andrew Choung for joining NP, providing an overview of each of their IP practices.

H&M sweater spat heads to High Court

Courthouse News Service | June 01, 2021

The following article covers the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case involving client H&M and allegations of fabric design copyright infringement by textile company Unicolors. Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordon, vice-chair of the Litigation Department and Fashion Practice leader, is quoted in the Law360 article on defending the previous Ninth Circuit ruling, which held that the trial court had erred in its ruling, and found that instead of infringement, the textile company’s copyright was invalid and the plaintiff did not use the copyright process appropriately. The NP team representing H&M also includes Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of the Los Angeles office.

SCOTUS to review H&M's 9th Circuit win in copyright dispute

Reuters | June 01, 2021

The following article covers the U.S. Supreme Court’ s decision to hear a case involving client H&M and allegations of fabric design copyright infringement by textile company Unicolors. Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordon, vice-chair of the Litigation Department and Fashion Practice leader, is quoted in the Law360 article on defending the previous Ninth Circuit ruling, which held that the trial court had erred in its ruling, and found that instead of infringement, the textile company’s copyright was invalid and the plaintiff did not use the copyright process appropriately. The NP team representing H&M also includes Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of the Los Angeles office.

High Court to consider intent bar in H&M copyright escape

Bloomberg Law | June 01, 2021

The following article covers the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case involving client H&M and allegations of fabric design copyright infringement by textile company Unicolors. Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordon, vice-chair of the Litigation Department and Fashion Practice leader, is quoted in the Law360 article on defending the previous Ninth Circuit ruling, which held that the trial court had erred in its ruling, and found that instead of infringement, the textile company’s copyright was invalid and the plaintiff did not use the copyright process appropriately. The NP team representing H&M also includes Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of the Los Angeles office.

Supreme Court agrees to hear H&M copyright case

Law360 | June 01, 2021

The following article covers the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case involving client H&M and allegations of fabric design copyright infringement by textile company Unicolors. Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordon, vice-chair of the Litigation Department and Fashion Practice leader, is quoted in the Law360 article on defending the previous Ninth Circuit ruling, which held that the trial court had erred in its ruling, and found that instead of infringement, the textile company’s copyright was invalid and the plaintiff did not use the copyright process appropriately. The NP team representing H&M also includes Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of the Los Angeles office.

Brand Battles: Instagram empires fight over 'meme' game trademark

Law360 | May 21, 2021

This roundup of recent actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board mentions the firm for the work of Chicago Intellectual Property partner Elizabeth Baio and Los Angeles Corporate partner Ellie Heisler for representing game maker Doing Things Media LLC in its trademark dispute with What Do You Meme LLC.

Fair Use: Google prevails in software dispute

Chicago Lawyer | April 14, 2021

Chicago Intellectual Property counsel Jason Kunze contributed this article analyzing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the decade-long dispute between Google and Oracle, and what it could mean for businesses and copyright owners.

Ratajkowski Says Instagram Copyright Suit Aimed to 'Extort'

Law360 | October 29, 2020

This article, examining the latest developments in a copyright lawsuit involving a paparazzi photo of actress and model Emily Ratajkowski, mentions New York Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Schnapp and Los Angeles Corporate partner Ellie Heisler for representing Ratajkowski in this matter.

UC Expands Patent Lawsuit Against Retailers and Manufacturers

Supply Chain Brain | October 05, 2020

The following article covers the U.S. International Trade Commission’s second investigation into leading retailers and suppliers of filament LED lighting products, based on a complaint filed by Nixon Peabody on behalf of the Regents of the University of California (UC). Supply Chain Brain quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Seth Levy extensively on the expanded patent enforcement campaign. The NP team representing UC is led by Seth and Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Shawn Hansen.

USITC targets Ikea and GE in bulb investigation

World IP Review | September 30, 2020

The following article covers the U.S. International Trade Commission’s second investigation into leading retailers and suppliers of filament LED lighting products, based on a complaint filed by Nixon Peabody on behalf of the Regents of the University of California (UC). Supply Chain Brain quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Seth Levy extensively on the expanded patent enforcement campaign. The NP team representing UC is led by Seth and Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Shawn Hansen.

Celebrities Keep Getting Sued Over Instagrams of Themselves

Law360 | September 17, 2020

This article, covering the dilemma of celebrities being sued for posting images of themselves to social media, references a copyright lawsuit involving a paparazzi photo of actress and model Emily Ratajkowski. New York Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Schnapp and Los Angeles Corporate partner Ellie Heisler are representing Ratajkowski in this matter.

9th Circ. Says Suit Against H&M Hinges On Copyright Validity

Law360 | May 29, 2020

This article mentions Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan, Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of Los Angeles, for representing H&M in a dispute involving allegations of fabric design copyright infringement. The NP team secured a unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to reverse the trial court’s decision.

Peloton case an example of intellectual property rights of copyright owners

Rochester Business Journal | March 20, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk contributed this column analyzing a copyright dispute between home exercise giant Peloton and the National Music Publishers Association regarding the use of popular music in Peloton video workouts. This column was adapted from an NP alert by Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan, New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Schnapp, and associate Catherine Savio.

Your business may be liable for years-old website images

Rochester Business Journal | October 11, 2019

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk co-wrote this contributed article illustrating the need for website owners to be vigilant about the copyright status of images posted to their sites. This column is based on an alert by Boston Intellectual Property associate Troy Lieberman.

H&M revives copyright suit with SCOTUS petition

World Intellectual Property Review | September 11, 2019

This article quotes extensively from a petition filed at the Supreme Court by Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, who are representing H&M in a copyright suit.

H&M takes copyright ruling to Supreme Court

Law360 | September 10, 2019

This story mentions Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, who are representing H&M in a copyright suit. The story quotes the attorneys’ petition for cert, which asks the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling that would make it much easier to sue for infringement.

'Party and Bulls--t': NY judge rules phrase is fair use in Notorious B.I.G., Rita Ora songs

Billboard | September 05, 2019

This story highlights Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, all of Los Angeles, who successfully defended their client, the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

Law360 | September 05, 2019

This story highlights Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan and associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, all of Los Angeles, who successfully defended their client, the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G., in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

2nd Circuit says Biggie's “Party And B*******” is fair use

Law360 | September 04, 2019

This story quotes Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner Staci Riordan discussing the successful defense of the estate of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Intellectual Property associate Sydney Pritchett and Government Investigations and White Collar Defense associate Neal Gauger, both of Los Angeles, also worked on this matter.

How the EU copyright directive affects esports live streams

Esports Insider | August 06, 2019

Intellectual Property associates Jason Kunze of Chicago and Jennette Psihoules of Washington DC participated in the latest edition of the regular feature “Ask the Esports Lawyers.”  In this edition, Jason and Jennette look at how the European Union copyright directive may impact esports.

Brunetti case attempts to further determine “unprotected speech”

Rochester Business Journal | July 26, 2019

This column by Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk analyzes a recent Supreme Court decision on whether individuals have a First Amendment right to register federal trademarks of “obscene” words and phrases. The column is based on an NP Alert written by Intellectual Property partners Jeff Costellia, Jason Kravitz and Deanna Kunze, and associate Anthony Duncan.

How Franchising and Licensing Can Be Avenues to Expand Your Fitness Business

Club Industry | October 31, 2018

In the second part of this two-part column, Nixon Peabody attorneys Kristin Jamberdino, Keri McWilliams, and Tarae Howell discuss potential avenues of expansion for fitness studios, including licensing and franchising. Click here to read Part Two.

High court to address rift on bankrupt brands' trademarks

Law360 | October 26, 2018

Boston Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy partner Lee Harrington is quoted in this article about his representation of Tempnology in a trademark licensing case that was just taken up by the Supreme Court.

How to expand your fitness business through brand management and careful investment

Club Industry | October 23, 2018

New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kristin Jamberdino; Washington, DC, Corporate partner Keri McWilliams; and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tarae Howell co-wrote a two-part contributed article advising boutique fitness entrepreneurs on best practices for expanding their brands.

How to expand your fitness business through brand management and careful investment

Club Industry | October 22, 2018

New York City Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kristin Jamberdino, Washington DC Corporate partner Keri McWilliams and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tarae Howell co-wrote a two-part contributed article advising boutique fitness entrepreneurs on best practices for expanding their brands. Click here to read Part One.

Contacts

Jeffrey L. Costellia

Partner
Co-leader, Intellectual Property

jcostellia@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 202-585-8207

Jason C. Kravitz

Partner
Co-leader, Intellectual Property
Leader, Cybersecurity & Privacy

jkravitz@nixonpeabody.com

Phone: 617-345-1318

  • World Trademark Review 1000—Recommended for trademark prosecution and strategy and for trademark litigation and enforcement (2012–2021)
  • Managing Intellectual Property—Ranked as a top U.S. law firm in Massachusetts for trademarks; nine IP attorneys recognized as “IP Stars” (2021)
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