Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland's copyright practice registers copyrights, handles licensing and transfers and protects copyrighted work from unauthorized use.

Sutherland copyright attorneys provide clients with comprehensive services that combine a prowess in non-contentious matters including strategy and registration with significant enforcement and litigation experience. They help establish ownership of copyrighted works and register copyrights with the appropriate authorities in the required jurisdictions.

Our attorneys handle all matters related to licensing, transfers and assignments of copyrights to maximize the value of copyrighted works. In addition, we protect the value of our clients’ copyrighted work by policing potentially infringing uses around the world and online. We also have substantial experience in copyright litigation and negotiate agreements to avoid potentially costly litigation when it is in the best interest of the client.

Our copyright practice extends beyond books, music and movies to such diverse fields as product packaging, carpet designs and software code. Our clients include apparel manufacturers, research groups and electric utilities. We are as comfortable policing potentially infringing packaging designs for a clothing designer as we are pursuing litigation to protect the interests of a toy manufacturer from knock-off competition. This diversity of clients ensures that our attorneys remain on top of all relevant copyright law developments.

Why Sutherland
Full service.
Our copyright practice provides clients with comprehensive service starting with the establishment and registration of our clients' copyrights. We then aid the client in licensing, transferring and assigning copyrights to business partners in order to maximize the value of their work and meet business goals. We also police the Internet to address any potential infringement issues, and can settle or litigate disputes as required.

In-house experience. Several of our copyright attorneys worked as in-house counsel for leading consumer products companies in a variety of industries. This enables them to readily understand the technical intricacies of copyright issues and to develop practical and effective strategies for protecting client work throughout the world.

Range. Our clients come from many different industries, and therefore have different needs in establishing, commercializing and protecting their copyrighted work. As a result, our attorneys engage in all facets of copyright law in a variety of jurisdictions, enabling them to better serve clients no matter where they need copyright protection.

Resolution. Sutherland's copyright practice engages in pre-emption of contentious matters whenever possible. Through the proper establishment and registration of copyrights, aggressive policing of potential violations, and careful crafting of transactional agreements, we strive to mitigate potential conflicts for our clients.

Settlement and litigation success. We have a strong record in protecting our clients' copyrighted work from unauthorized use. Our primary focus is on our clients' business interests when determining whether and how to settle or litigate. We focus on practical solutions that protect our clients’ hard-won reputations.

Nuts and Bolts
Sutherland’s copyrights representation for clients includes:

  • Establishing ownership of copyrighted works and registering copyrights
  • Negotiating licensing agreements
  • Handling issues surrounding the transfer and assignment of copyrights
  • Policing potentially infringing uses of our clients’ works online and around the world

Sutherland provides counsel and representation in all facets of new media and cyber law including:

  • Counseling clients in connection with domain name registrations and acquisitions
  • Counseling clients on e-commerce issues including:
    • Website development agreements
    • DMCA and Web 2.0 policies
    • Linking agreements
    • Privacy policies and notices
    • Appropriate website terms of use
    • Security measures
    • “Click-wrap” licenses
    • Other legal notices
    • Compliance with statutory requirements
  • Counseling clients on infringement issues unique to the Internet such as:
    • Uses of metatags and other electronic coding
    • Search engine key words
    • Sponsored advertising
    • Banner ads
    • Pop-ups

Our copyright clients include:

  • E-media developers
  • Artists
  • Publishers
  • Authors
  • Videocassette distributors
  • Toy manufacturers
  • Carpet and floor covering manufacturers
  • Apparel manufacturers
  • Musicians
  • Estates of performers
  • Research groups
  • Advertising agencies
  • Art museums
  • Electric utilities
  • Architects and engineers
  • Computer services and software firms

Take Action
Clients rely on Sutherland’s legal and technical knowledge to develop a global strategy for establishing copyright protection, and count on us to maximize the value of copyrighted material through effective enforcement, licensing and, when necessary, litigation.

Selected Experience
Sutherland protects a carpet manufacturer's copyrighted designs.
Sutherland represented Beaulieu Group, a large carpet manufacturer, in various copyright infringement suits concerning carpet designs.

Sutherland brings numerous copyright infringement actions on behalf of a hunting apparel manufacturer.
We protect a hunting apparel manufacturer by bringing copyright infringement actions related to its camouflage patterns whether violations occur globally or in the United States.

Sutherland represents hosiery manufacturer in package design copyright matters.
Sutherland protects SPANX, a leading manufacturer of hosiery products and apparel, in copyright matters involving the client’s packaging design.