Business and Intellectual Property Litigation

Our firm represents companies, partnerships, trusts, and individuals in civil lawsuits, arbitration, mediation, and investigations.  We practice in California federal and state courts, prosecuting claims for plaintiffs and defending parties against claims.  Unlike many law firms, we do not represent only plaintiffs or only defendants–the firm also represents non-party witnesses, such as businesses subpoenaed for information or as part of government investigations.  Our experience working on many sides of disputes informs our ability to analyze matters from various angles and anticipate the adversary’s decision making and goals. 

We handle cases through all phases of their life cycle: from pre-filing strategies, negotiation and analysis, to provisional remedies such as preliminary injunctions and writs of attachment, preparing and challenging the pleadings, into heavy discovery, onto law and motion practice and case management, often to settlement, sometimes through trial and into post-trial motions and judgment enforcement.  Some of the claims we routinely litigate involve:

    • Copyright infringement
    • Trademark infringement
    • Trademark dilution
    • Trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB)
    • Trade dress infringement
    • Prosecution of anti-counterfeiting claims
    • Theft and disclosure of trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information
    • Breach of non-disclosure (NDAs) and confidentiality agreements
    • Right of publicity
    • Right of privacy
    • Breach of contract
    • Breach of warranty
    • Commercial disputes; Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
    • Interference with contract and interference with economic advantage
    • Defamation
    • Fraud, concealment, and misappropriation
    • Indemnity and contribution
    • Conversion
    • Civil theft claims (Penal Code § 496)
    • Partnership, corporate, and LLC disputes, business separations and “business divorces”
    • Business entity governance disputes, and actions against officers, directors, and managers
    • Dissolution of corporations, LLCs, and partnerships
    • Hostile takeovers and aggressive attempts at equity buy-outs and buy-backs
    • Breach of fiduciary duties
    • Breach of the implied obligation of confidence
    • Alter ego; successor liability; de facto merger or consolidation theories; agency theories or “representative services” doctrine arguments; aiding and abetting/conspiracy theories; direct liability theories against management; vicarious liability theories; ratification theories
    • California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA)
    • Unfair competition by buyers, competitors, officers, managers, employees or former employees
      • Breach by buyers of businesses of covenants not to compete
      • Soliciting customers and employees
      • Use of confidential or proprietary data or trade secrets
    • False advertising
    • Asset investigations and analysis of judgment collection opportunities
    • Writs of execution
    • Writs of possession
    • Debtor examinations
    • Opposing motions to set aside defaults and vacate default judgments
    • Recognition and enforcement of sister-state judgments from foreign or out-of-state jurisdictions
    • Investigating and protecting against transfers to evade creditors; actions under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA)
    • Wage and hour: minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest break violations
    • Wrongful termination 
    • Employment retaliation 
    • Investigations and actions before the California Labor Commissioner and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)

Business Transactions

We analyze, structure, negotiate, draft, and advise on various agreements and deals, including:

  • Trademark and copyright licensing, assignments, and portfolio auditing
  • Joint authorship/ownership of intellectual property
  • Transfers and other dispositions of intellectual property
  • Employment and executive agreements
  • Consulting agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality agreements
  • Partnership agreements
  • Joint venture agreements
  • Distributorship agreements
  • Merchandising agreements
  • Purchases and sales of businesses and assets
  • UCC sales and leases of goods
  • Complex settlement agreements and releases
  • Indemnity agreements

Business Ventures and Corporate Law

We work with privately held enterprises during the exciting and stressful time of planning, fundraising, hiring, contracting, and capitalizing.  We also work with established clients who seek counsel and assistance with re-working their management, operation, or governance.  Our firm’s business venture and corporate services include:

  • Counseling clients to chose the appropriate type of entity
  • Preparing bylaws, operating agreements, partnership and joint venture agreements
  • Structuring, negotiating, and drafting agreements with investors and shareholders, including subscription and shareholder agreements
  • Dissolutions of corporations, LLCs and partnerships
  • Navigating regulatory compliance issues
  • Discussing the rights, liabilities and duties of corporate officers and directors, LLC members, and partners
  • Advising partnership, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Preparing and maintaining corporate records
  • Counseling about necessary government licenses, permits, and registrations
  • Managing and commercializing copyright, trademark, and trade secret portfolios
  • Guiding clients in the purchase of relevant insurance policies

Fashion Law

We work with fashion designers, apparel manufacturers, licensors/licensees, and retailers on a variety of issues and subjects that they frequently deal with, including:

  • Legal structures of companies
  • Compliance with California Labor Code and Labor Commissioner regulations
  • Registration as a garment manufacturer or contractor with the California Labor Commissioner
  • Protection of apparel and textile designs
  • Trademark and copyright infringement and anti-counterfeiting
  • Trademark and copyright clearances and registrations
  • Fashion and apparel licensing and assignments
  • Collections
  • Agreements for the sale or purchase of fashion goods and products
  • Sales representation agreements
  • Agreements for the services of models, talent, spokespersons, and designers
  • Marketing, advertising, sponsorship and promotion agreements
  • Retail leases

New Media and E-Commerce Law

We deal with numerous emerging and evolving legal issues related to cyberspace, new media, and e-commerce, including:

  • Copyrights and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
  • Domain names and trademarks
  • Trademark and copyright registrations
  • E-commerce transactions
  • Terms of use
  • Online agreements
  • Privacy law and privacy policies
  • Software license agreements
  • Software and Web site development agreements
  • Content clearances, licensing, and fair use and the public domain
  • Internet advertising
  • Acquisitions and sales of internet businesses