Areas

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:

  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LITIGATION
    • Copyright infringement
      • Declaratory relief actions regarding copyright ownership and infringement accusations
    • Trademark infringement
    • Trademark dilution
      • Blurring and tarnishment of famous marks
    • 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
    • Misappropriation, theft and disclosure of trade secrets, confidential and proprietary information
    • Breach of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality agreements
    • Rights of publicity
      • Cal. Civil Code § 3344
    • Rights of privacy
      • “False light” claims
      • Intrusion into private affairs
      • California’s civil “revenge porn” law, Civil Code § 1708.85
  • BUSINESS LITIGATION
    • Breach of contract
    • Breach of warranty
    • Commercial disputes; Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) claims
    • Interference with contract and interference with economic advantage
    • Defamation
      • Trade libel
      • Slander of title to assets (real estate, intellectual property, business equity)
    • Fraud, concealment, and misappropriation
      • Corporate fraud
      • Financial fraud
      • Commercial fraud
    • Indemnity and contribution
    • Conversion
    • Civil theft claims under Cal. Penal Code § 496
    • Partnership, corporation, and LLC disputes, “founders’ disputes,” business separations and “business divorces”
    • Actions against officers, directors, and managers. 
    • Shareholders suits, derivative claims, shareholder oppression
    • Dissolution of corporations, LLCs, and partnerships; partnership and LLC accountings
    • Hostile takeovers and aggressive attempts at 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 business sellers, competitors, officers, managers, employees or former employees
      • Breach of covenants not to compete/non-compete agreements
      • Solicitation of customers and employees
      • Use of confidential or proprietary data or trade secrets
    • False advertising
  • CREDITORS’ RIGHTS, DEBT COLLECTION & ASSET RECOVERY, ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS
    • Asset investigations and the analysis of judgment collection opportunities
    • Pre-judgment remedies, such as writs of attachment.
    • Debtor examinations
    • Investigating and protecting against transfers to evade creditors; actions under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA)
    • Creditors’ actions
    • Writs of execution
    • Writs of possession
    • Wage garnishment
    • Assignment orders
    • Charging orders against partnership and LLC interests
    • Recognition and enforcement of sister-state judgments from foreign or out-of-state jurisdictions
    • Opposing motions to set aside defaults and vacate default judgments
    • Prosecuting adversary claims in bankruptcy court to declare debts or obligations nondischargeable
  • EMPLOYMENT LAW DEFENSE
    • Wage and hour: minimum wage, overtime, and meal and rest break violations
    • Wrongful termination 
    • Age discrimination
    • Employment retaliation 
    • Investigations and actions before the California Labor Commissioner and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)

Fashion Law

We work with fashion designers, apparel manufacturers, licensors/licensees, and retailers on a variety of matters they frequently encounter, including:

  • Legal structures of business entities
  • Compliance with California Labor Code and Labor Commissioner regulations
  • Registration as a garment manufacturer or contractor with the California Labor Commissioner
  • Enforcement of rights to apparel and textile designs
  • Trademark and copyright infringement and anti-counterfeiting
  • Trademark and copyright clearances and registrations
  • Fashion and apparel licensing and assignments
  • Collections and enforcement of commercial contracts
  • Agreements for the marketing, distributions, sale and purchase of  garments, products, and accessories
  • Sales representation agreements
  • Agreements for the services of models, talent, spokespersons, and designers
  • Marketing, advertising, sponsorship and promotion agreements

Business Transactions

We analyze, structure, negotiate, draft, and advise on various agreements and deals, including but not limited to:

  • Auditing of trademark, copyright and trade secret portfolios
  • Trademark and copyright licensing 
  • Joint authorship/ownership of intellectual property
  • Assignments, 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 small privately held enterprises during the exciting and stressful time of planning, fundraising, hiring, contracting, and capitalizing.  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; dispositions of business assets
  • 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 pertinent insurance policies

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