Vincent H. Chieffo is an entertainment and media litigator with significant trial and appellate experience. His practice also includes entertainment transactional work. His litigation experience encompasses disputes throughout the entertainment business, including those involving copyright and trademark infringement, right of publicity, defamation, the rights of estates and heirs in copyrights and other entertainment assets, idea submission, royalties and participations, and distribution and financing agreements. Vincent's entertainment transaction experience has included advice regarding a wide range of matters from licensing trademarks, copyrights, and rights of publicity; sales and acquisitions of copyright and entertainment catalogues; to music publishing agreements; and motion picture production and distribution agreements.
Areas of Concentration
· Entertainment law
· Intellectual property
· Securities litigation
Professional & Community Involvement
· Member, American Bar Association
· Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association
· Member, Board of Directors of Public Counsel, a public interest law firm
· Member, California Copyright Conference
· Member, Century City Bar Association
· Member, Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
· Member, International Bar Association
· Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition Section
· Member and Past President, Los Angeles Copyright Society
· Member, USC Entertainment Law Institute Planning Committee
· Co-Chairman, USC Entertainment Law Institute, 1992-1993
Awards & Recognition
· Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television, Music; Litigation - Intellectual Property; Media Law, 2010-2014
· Listed, Managing IP Magazine's World IP Handbook and Survey, "IP Stars," 2013
· Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Law Firm of the Year" in Entertainment Law - Music, 2011-2012
· Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2007, 2009-2013
· Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5
· Moreau v. Daily Independent, 2013 WL 85362, 41 Med. L. Rep. 1471 (E.D. Cal. 2013), granting anti-SLAPP motion and dismissing defamation claim against newspaper.
· National Center for Jewish Film v. Riverside Films LLC, 2012 WL 4052111, 2012 Copr. L. Dec. P. 30, 316 (C.D. Cal., 2012), granting defense summary judgment on fair use grounds in copyright infringement action based on film clips used by the producer of a documentary film about Sholem Aleichem.
· RST (2005) Inc. v. Research in Motion Ltd., 597 F. Supp.2d 362 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), granting, in part, summary judgment to plaintiff in dispute arising from license agreement for a Rolling Stones branded, limited edition Blackberry smartphone.
· Silverlit Toys Manufactory, Ltd. V. Absolute Toy Marketing, Inc., 2007 WL 521239 (N.D. Cal. 2007), granting preliminary injunction for copyright and trademark infringement.
· Polygram Records, Inc. v. Legacy Entertainment Group, LLC, 2006 WL 163223 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006), affirming summary judgment that held Heirs of Hank Williams Sr. are exclusive owners of exploitation rights to Hank Williams recorded radio programs.
· Lyrick Studios, Inc. v. Big Idea Productions, Inc., 420 F.3d 388 (5th Cir. 2005), reversal of breach of distribution agreement, $10 million jury verdict.
· Briarpatch Ltd. L.P. v. Phoenix Pictures, Inc., 373 F.3d 296 (2d Cir. 2004) cert. denied 544 U.S. 949 (2005), copyright infringement.
· Winter v. D.C. Comics, 30 Cal.4th 881 (2003), right of publicity.
· Adidas-Salomon AG v. Target Corp., 228 F.Supp. 2d 1192 (D. Oregon 2002), trademark.
· Fogerty v. Fantasy, 510 U.S. 57 (1994) on remand, 94 F.3d 553 (9th Cir. 1996), copyright infringement and right to attorneys fees.
· Schwartz v. Las Vegas Sun, 104 Nev. 508, 761 P.2d 849 (1988) and 110 Nev. 1042, 881 P.2d 638 (1994), defamation.
· Stone v. Williams, 970 F.2d 1043 (2d Cir. 1992) and Stone v. Gulf America Fire & Casaulty Co. 554 So. 2d. 346 (Alabama 1989), right of illegitimate child of Hank Williams Sr. to renewal U.S.copyrights and to share in the Estate of Hank Williams Sr.
· Demaris v. Greenspun, 712 F.2d. 433 (9th Cir. 1983), defamation.
· Cher v. Forum International Ltd., 692 F.2d 634 (9th Cir. 1982), right of publicity.
· H.M. Greenspun v. Del E. Webb Corporation, 634 F. 2d 1204 (9th Cir. 1980), shareholder derivative action.
· Guglielmi v. Spelling-Goldberg Prods, 25 Cal.3d 860 (1979), right of publicity.
· Represented various clients who have granted or obtained trademark licenses, name and likeness rights, and literary rights including the licensing of personal rights for the production of a television movie, the grant of syndication rights for television programming, the sale of theatrical rights to a best-selling novel, the sale and optioning of screenplays, and the negotiation of a multimillion-dollar endorsement and concert tour promotion agreement.
· Represented strategic partners in several mini-major studio international partnerships involving equity investments, multi-picture revolving lines of credit for up to $300 million and single picture financing.
· Represented music publishing companies, including copyright catalog acquisitions, and various recording artists and independent record companies regarding recording, production and distribution agreements, and royalty accountings.
· Represented musical and performing artists for single and multi-engagement tours, for tour and retail merchandising agreements, and for tour promotion agreements.
· Law Clerk, Judge Wilfred Feinberg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New York, 1970-1971
Publications & Presentations
Articles, Lectures & Publication s
· Author, "Dead and (Not Yet) Gone," Chapter 8, Celebrity, International Association of Entertainment Lawyers, 2 005
· Author, " Bette Midler v. Ford Motor Co.: To Impersonate Her Voice is to Pirate Her Identity," CAL. BUS. L. RPTR. (June 1992)
· Co-Author, "Vanna White and Tom Waits: Recent Court Decisions Expand Rights of Celebrities to Resist Unwanted Commercial Exploitation," California Business Law Reporter (SEB), December, 1992
· Author, "Entertainment Law Practice in California, Parts I and II," California Business Law Reporter (SEB), September and November, 1991
· Author, "Descendibility of Publicity, Rights/Flaws in the New State Law," Los Angeles Lawyer
· Author, "It's a Crude, Crude World: The Buchwald Case," Montage, April, 1990
· Author, "Current Issues in Entertainment Law", Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California, Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles Copyright Society, 1989
· Guest Speaker, Entertainment Law, University of Southern California Law School, April 2005
· Guest Speaker, Entertainment Law, Georgetown Law Center, Washington D.C., March 2005
· Speaker, ALI-ABA Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law, January 2005
· Co-Speaker, "Twisting in the Wind: Tyne, Twist, Rosa Parks, Bobbleheads and Other Recent Development in the Right of Publicity," L.A. County Bar Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Section, October 2004
· Lecturer, Copyright and Entertainment Law, Avanti Project, T'Blisi, Republic of Georgia,September 2003
· Co-Speaker, "As the World Turns: Developments in Right of Publicity," L.A. County Bar Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Section, September 2002
· Lecturer, USC Entertainment Law Institute, 1991 and 1998
· Lecturer, Independent Feature Project/West, 1988 Seminar Series - selected infringement and right of publicity subjects