General Counsel

Supreme Court to Resolve Split Regarding Copyright Registration Requirement

Section 411(a) of the U.S. Copyright Act provides that an action for copyright infringement may be brought after “preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title” or “where the deposit, application, and fee required for registration have been delivered to the Copyright Office in proper form and registration has been refused.”  The courts are split as to whether a copyright claim may be brought once the copyright application, deposit, and fee is delivered to the Copyright Office or whether the plaintiff must wait until the Copyright Office responds to the application. The Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held the former, under the “application approach,” while the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits have held the latter, under the “registration approach.”  The First, Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh, and D.C. Circuits have all acknowledged the divide, but refused to decide one way.  The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to an Eleventh Circuit case, Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com, to address this question.

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Spongebob Squarepants’ Fictional Restaurant Granted Real Trademark Rights

One of the bedrock principles of trademark law is that trademark rights stem from actual use of the trademark in commerce.  In recent years, however, courts have been finding that imaginary use of the trademark in fictional works can suffice to create real right in a nonfictional setting.

The latest example of this phenomenon took place in Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments, where the Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision granting trademark protection to the Krusty Krab, a fictional restaurant in the television series SpongeBob SquarePants.  Viacom sued IJR Capital Investment for unfair competition and trademark infringement because IJR had been trying to open up seafood restaurants in California and Texas under the Krusty Krab name since 2014.  IJR Capital claimed that they did not base their name on the fictional restaurant, but rather the crusted glaze applied to cooked seafood.  IJR noted that there was no Krusty Krab trademark already registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Legal Consulting in the Field of Fashion Title

Legal Consulting in the Field of Fashion: the USA and Italy

Legal Consulting in the Field of Fashion: the USA and Italy

Fashion Law columnist Anna Zabrotskaya, Co-head of the Fashion & Lux Practice at law firm Borenius, met with leading fashion lawyers from global fashion capitals New York and Milan. Douglas Hand, a partner at American law firm Hand Baldachin & Associates (HBA), and Ida Palombella, head of IP and technology at law firm Withers, spoke about the specific features of providing legal advice in the field of fashion law.

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ADA Website Accessibility Litigation Presents High Risk to Retailers

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Adam Michaels | amichaels@hballp.com

Summary

The number of US lawsuits filed by visually impaired and other disabled people targeting business websites for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has reached fever pitch. Recent court rulings have emboldened plaintiffs’ attorneys and a significant uptick in litigation is expected in 2018. New York has proven particularly welcoming to these cases, with nearly 300 ADA website lawsuits targeting retail, fashion, and financial institutions filed in New York’s federal courts in the first quarter of 2018.

Despite this explosion of activity, many businesses are still unaware of the legal risk and continue to operate websites that fall short of accepted accessibility standards, courting ADA claims. Although monetary damages are unavailable under the ADA, these cases are not easily dismissed and the defense costs can be significant. To help minimize the lawsuit risk, businesses should consider proactive measures to ensure their websites meet the current accessibility standard.

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HBA Welcomes Litigation Partner Adam Michaels

HBA Welcomes Litigation Partner Adam Michaels

NEW YORKMarch 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Joining HBA as head of the firm’s litigation practice, Adam Michaels brings nearly twenty years of sophisticated litigation experience representing companies and individuals in matters related to consumer products, financial services, food and beverage, fashion and lifestyle, healthcare, and technology.  Adam’s practice covers the full range of commercial litigation, with particular focus on representing business clients in complex contract disputes.  Adam regularly counsels on litigation avoidance, risk management, marketing strategy, and regulatory compliance.  He joins HBA from the New York office of Pepper Hamilton, where he was Of Counsel.  Prior to that, Adam practiced at Goodwin Procter.  Adam earned his J.D. from Georgetown University and his A.B. from Columbia University.

“We are excited to welcome Adam to our firm,” Managing Partner Alan Baldachin said.  Founding Partner Douglas Hand added, “Adam is tenacious litigator with a practical and efficient approach to resolving business disputes.  Adam’s experience and talent will complement our other practice areas and will be a great asset for our clients.”

HBA is a corporate and commercial law firm in New York, NY focused on media, technology and fashion & lifestyle, with expertise in venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, real estate and intellectual property.

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Justin Pollak

Hand Baldachin & Amburgey is Pleased to Announce the Promotion of Justin Pollak to Partner

Hand Baldachin & Amburgey is Pleased to Announce the Promotion of Justin Pollak to Partner, effective as of January 1, 2018

Since joining the firm as an associate in 2014, Justin has focused his practice on venture capital transactions. He represents both investors and emerging companies, particular in seed and early stage venture financings, across a broad range of industries, including fashion, fintech, social and digital media, e-commerce, enterprise software, network security and biotechnology. Justin also regularly advises on a broad range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and serves as an “outside general counsel” to many of the firm’s emerging and growth-stage company clients. He earned his J.D. and M.B.A. from Emory University and his B.S. from Cornell University.

“Justin is a highly talented attorney whose commitment to client service truly demonstrates the firm’s values,” Managing Partner Alan Baldachin said. “His leadership and passion have meaningfully contributed to the success of the firm and our clients and will continue to do so into the future. We are very proud of Justin’s accomplishments and congratulate him on his new role.”

HBA is a corporate and commercial law firm in New York, NY focused on media, technology and fashion & lifestyle, with expertise in venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, real estate and intellectual property. The firm was founded by three former big law attorneys over 15 years ago and continues to grow today.

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Capable and Elegant: What It’s Like to Be a Fashion Lawyer, an Interview with Partner Douglas Hand

Capable and Elegant: What It’s Like to Be a Fashion Lawyer

We start our new section with the exclusive interview with a famous New York dandy, a founding partner of Hand Baldachin Amburgey LLP (HBA) and a successful fashion lawyer Douglas Hand. What is it like to be a fashion lawyer and what his book “Laws of Style” is about, Douglas told in a conversation with Anna Zabrotskaya.

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Learn more about Fashion Law Russia.

Learn more about Douglas Hand.

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