Alan Behr

Alan Behr: Attorney with Phillips Nizer LLP AV stamp icon
  • Partner at Phillips Nizer LLP (66 Attorneys)
  • 485 Lexington Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017
    View Alan Behr's office location
  • Alan Behr is a partner in the Corporate & Business Law Department and Intellectual Property Practice at Phillips Nizer LLP. Mr. Behr concentrates his practice on international intellectual property, fashion and entertainment law. He represents established and up-and-coming businesses and individuals in the fields of electronic entertainment, emerging technologies, publishing, fashion, and consumer products.
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Alan Behr is a partner in the Corporate & Business Law Department and Intellectual Property Practice, and chairman of the Fashion Practice at Phillips Nizer LLP. He is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Mr. Behr concentrates his practice on international intellectual property, fashion and entertainment law. He represents established and up-and-coming businesses and individuals in the fields of electronic entertainment, emerging technologies, publishing, fashion, and consumer products.

As part of the firm’s active art practice, Mr. Behr represents artists, art galleries, art investors and collectors. A member of the American Society of Media Photographers (in his parallel role as a working photojournalist and fine-art photographer), Mr. Behr concentrates on defending the rights of photographers and photography rights holders. Clients range from important artists to newly emerging talent, as well as estates and trusts seeking to have art evaluated and sold.

In addition to his intellectual property and technology practice, Mr. Behr, a trained mediator, maintains an arbitration and mediation practice handling ADR cases both as an advocate and as a neutral.

Mr. Behr is regularly invited to write for legal and general-interest journals and to speak at international legal and business conferences. He is recognized as one of the leading intellectual property lawyers in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers. Mr. Behr is a member of the International Trademark Association Panel of Trademark Mediators, which is the only panel of trained mediators in the world who focus on trademark and unfair competition law. He is also a member of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (U.K.) Exchange Network, selected as an International Mediator, and a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR), acting as both an arbitrator and mediator for the trademark and entertainment law panels and general commercial panel.

Mr. Behr, a dual U.S.-German national, is fluent in German and is a member of our German Practice, where he provides counsel to clients from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Prior to joining Phillips Nizer, Mr. Behr was general counsel of w-Technologies, Inc. and Atari, Inc. (formerly GT Interactive Software Corp.).

Recent Articles

• When malls were the disruptors of retail, Chain Store Age, September 20, 2017
• Hightailing to Better Retailing Options, New York Law Journal, August 21, 2017
• Those Were The Days, New York Law Journal, September 21, 2015
• When Your Art Becomes My Art, Inside magazine, published by the NYSBA Corporate Counsel Section, Winter 2013
• Appropriation Of Photos: Where To Draw The Line - Part 1, Law360, Portfolio Media, Inc., April 27, 2012.
• Appropriation Of Photos: Where To Draw The Line - Part 2, Law360, Portfolio Media, Inc., May 4, 2012.

Recent Speaking Engagements

•Adorama Events, f/8 and See You in Court: Legal Issues in Photography (June 21, 2017)
•Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE), Knock It Off! Tactics to Combat Counterfeits (June 6 - 9, 2017)

Peer Review Rating

AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Fashion Law Blog

The Fashion Industry Law Blog, includes posts published by the members of the Fashion Law Practice of Phillips Nizer LLP and attorneys in other related practice areas.


•Selected by World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000 as one of the leading professionals in Trademark Law for enforcement and litigation, and prosecution and strategy (New York; 2011 - Present)
•Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Copyright Law, Litigation - Intellectual Property Law and Trademark Law (2009 - 2019)
•Selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers - New York Metro Edition (Intellectual Property), (2010, 2011, 2013 - 2018)

News & Publications

•Fashion Blog - Alan Flusser: The American Male and His Wardrobe Alan Behr, Chair of the Fashion Practice highlights one of the fashion industry's most legendary tailors.
10/04/2018 The Fashion Industry Law Blog

•Super Lawyers (2018)

Seventeen Phillips Nizer attorneys were announced on September 13, 2018 as selected for inclusion on the 2018 New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Attorneys represented a cross-section of several practice areas and industry teams.

•U.S. News - BestLawyers (2019)

Best Lawyers recognized Alan Behr, Helene M. Freeman, Michael W. Galligan, Donald P. Perry, Evan J. Spelfogel, Lauren J. Wachtler, Martin B. Wasser and Elliot J. Wiener.

•Website Accessibility Suits Threaten Omnichannel Sales (Law360)

In the course of the development of the common law, with its unique dependence on a sometimes unholy alliance between enacted and judge-made law, curiosities will arise. Retailers, auction houses and others with consumer websites that support physical sales facilities have seen this recently, as lawyers around the country have driven in fifth gear to their nearest federal courthouses to file lawsuits on behalf of the visually impaired, claiming that those websites exclude the visually impaired from equal access in violation of federal law.

•Media - Intellectual Property partner and chairman of our Fashion Law Practice, Alan Behr, addresses the proliferation of counterfeit goods associated with well-known brands and the presence of such goods on online retailer sites, such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

Online marketplaces with third-party sellers, including Amazon, are not at fault under the law as long as they take counterfeits down when notified of their existence, as reported in the article, according to Alan. However, he continues, If you are a brand owner, you have to be vigilant...Register copyrights, do your homework, have an investigator doing purchases, troll the web. Read Can Amazon and its marketplace rivals fix their counterfeits problem ? published in Retail Dive.

•Media - Corporate Practice partner Alan Behr and managing partner and Real Estate Practice co-chair Marc Landis comment on the Toys R Us bankruptcy filing and recent reports of major retailers, such as Target, Aldi and Big Lots, interested in the vacated properties owned or leased by the toy retailer.

Read Target, Aldi, Big Lots eyeing Toys R Us real estate published here in Retail Dive.

•Media - Alan Behr, partner in the Intellectual Property Law Practice, commented on the Second Circuit Court's ruling regarding copyright and fair use in Intellectual Property Magazine .

The Fox News Network sued TVEyes, a media monitoring service, in the U.S. District Court of New York alleging infringed copyright of copied and re-distributed audiovisual content, enabling TVEyes’ subscribers to access of that content without Fox’s permission.

The Second Circuit ruled in favor of Fox News regarding the sharing of clips by TVEyes saying that their actions were unlawfully profiting off the work of others by commercially re-distributing all of that work that a viewer wishes to use, without payment or licence.”

Alan's comments regarding the ruling:

It’s great to see the Second Circuit affirm the limitations of fair use - even in a case where, to use a term it largely helped popularise, it found that the use in question was ‘transformative’ - that is, even though something new or at least perceivably different had been made from the use of content that was owned by someone else.”

He explained, “The key here was the extent of the use. The court noted that news segments are short and that the method of copying and dissemination by TVEyes would, ‘likely provide TVEyes’s users with all of the Fox programming that they seek and the entirety of the message conveyed by Fox to authorised viewers of the original’.”

•U.S. News - BestLawyers (2018)

U.S. News-Best Lawyers announced on November 1, 2017, Phillips Nizer's recognition as one of the nation's Best Law Firms for 2018. The listing is presented in ranking tiers from 1 - 3. We ranked highly, Tier 1, nationally in Copyright Law, Trademark Law and Trusts & Estates Law. We were also ranked in the New York City Metropolitan listings.

•Is this the real life? (IP Pro The Internet)

With emerging technologies, such as virtual reality (VR), breaking into the mainstream, already antique laws must rise to the occasion.

• Media - “When Malls Were The Disruptors of Retail,” an article by Fashion Law chair, Alan Behr, was published by Chain Store Age, a leading source for retail news and industry analysis, including retail store operations, retail technology, store design and more.

Alan reflects on the change in retail from the early 1900s at a period of time when stand-alone department stores still existed, including Krauss Company in New Orleans, Louisiana run by his family, but were soon made obsolete over time by the development of malls.

•Super Lawyers (2017)

It was announced on September 20, 2017, that sixteen Phillips Nizer attorneys were selected for inclusion on the 2017 Super Lawyers list. Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking, Business Litigation, Entertainment, Intellectual Property, and Trusts & Estates practices were represented.

•When malls were the disruptors of retail (Chain Store Age)

•Hightailing to Better Retailing Options (New York Law Journal, Outside Counsel column)

•Speaking Engagements - Partner Alan Behr presents, f/8 and See You in Court: Legal Issues in Photography, at Adorama on Wednesday, June 21st.

Along with chairing Phillips Nizer's Fashion Law Practice, Alan is also a member of the Art Law and Intellectual Property Law Practices. He is a working photojournalist and art photographer. YouTube Video Replay

About Adorama: One of the largest retailers of photography, video, electronics and imaging equipment, Adorama events attracts professionals, aspiring professionals and hobbyists.

•Media - On the heels of the Supreme Court's ruling siding with the Asian-American rock band, The Slants, to register the band's name with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Alan Behr was quoted by the San Diego Tribune and Law360 about the significance of the court's decision.

The band's lead singer, Simon Tam, filed a lawsuit after the USPTO refused to register the band's name citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits any trademark that could be cited as disparaging against persons living or dead. The band's leader disagreed saying the band was reclaiming the historically disparaging word as a point of pride. With the Supreme Court's unanimous decision agreeing with the band that the trademark registration refusal was unconstitutional, it is speculated that this could impact how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases. (On a related note: The NFL Washington Redskins has been involved in a long-running dispute with the USPTO over allegations that the team's nickname is disparaging to Native Americans.)

• Speaking Engagements - Alan Behr, Chair of the Fashion Law Practice and member of the Intellectual Property and Corporate & Business Law Practices, will co-present at the 2017 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) Conference being held in Chicago, Illinois (June 6 - 9, 2017).

Alan and his co-presenter, Zach Toczynski, Director, Anti-Counterfeiting at Levi Strauss & Co., will highlight Knock It Off! Tactics to Combat Counterfeits on Wednesday, June 7th (1:15 - 1:45 p.m.).

•Media - Legendary recording artist Sir Paul McCartney filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against music publisher Sony/ATV over ownership of some of the Beatles’ most famous songs.

Partners Helene Freeman and Alan Behr members of our Intellectual Property Law practice, were quoted in articles published by Forbes magazine and Digital Music News. Forbes included quotes by Helene, and Digital Music News published quotes by both Helene and Alan.

•Paul McCartney Sues To Win A Battle Duran Duran Lost (Forbes)
•56 Years Later, Paul McCartney Wants His Beatles Songs Back... (Digital Music News)
Related Article:

• Duran Duran Case Shouldn't Affect Paul McCartney Contracts by Helene Freeman (Law360, January 30, 2017)

•Media - Fashion Law practice chairman, Alan Behr comments to Luxury Daily and Logistics Management on the potential impact of the country’s new President-elect, Donald Trump, on the fashion and textiles industries, the luxury goods market, and U.S. trade agreements, including the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).

What impact will a Trump presidency have on the luxury market?

Transport leaders begin meeting with Trump transition team as new era starts

•U.S. News - Best Lawyers (2017)

U.S. News-Best Lawyers announced Phillips Nizer was recognized as one of the Best Law Firms in the nation for 2017 ranking highly nationally in Trusts & Estates Law. The firm was also ranked in the New York City Metropolitan area in Trusts & Estates Law, Copyright Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Litigation and Trademark Law.

•Super Lawyers (2016)

On September 21, 2016 it was announced by Super Lawyers that twenty-three Phillips Nizer attorney were selected for inclusion on the 2016 Super Lawyers and 'Rising Stars' lists. This is the second consecutive year the firm has had twenty-three lawyers recognized.

• Media - Intellectual Property Watch quotes Alan Behr in “USPTO Refusal To Register Trademarks Breaches Free Speech”.

The article highlights the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to review the case of Lee v. Tam (a.k.a. The Slants case), to assess the constitutionality of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal to register disparaging marks under the Lanham Act.

•Media - Adweek quotes Intellectual Property and Corporate Law partner, Alan Behr, on the use of Olympic mascots in the article, “Why Official Olympic Mascots Are So Damn Weird: When a committee makes decisions, confusion is what you get.”

Unfortunately, in an effort not to offend anyone during such a large, global event like the Olympic Games, what is sometimes created by the host nation is a mascot that does not resonate well with others outside the country -- and even sometimes within the country.

According to Alan, “You have to come up with a character that works everywhere, and it can’t have a name that means the wrong thing in some language...You need a mascot that will work in both North and South Korea-and in Albania, Cuba and the People’s Republic of China.”

•Those Were The Days (New York Law Journal)

•U.S. News-BestLawyers (2016)

In an announcement on November 2nd by U.S. News-Best Lawyers, Phillips Nizer was recognized as one of the 2016 Best Law Firms in the nation ranking highly nationally in Trusts & Estates Law, Copyright Law and Trademark Law. The firm was also ranked in the New York City Metropolitan area in Trusts & Estates Law, Copyright Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property Litigation and Trademark Law.

•Super Lawyers (2015)

Phillips Nizer was honored to announce that twenty-three of its attorneys were recognized as 2015 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Attorneys who were recognized represented over a dozen practice areas. The annual Super Lawyers lists are a result of confidential peer review and independent research.

• Super Lawyers (2014)

In an announcement on September 23, 2014, twenty-six Phillips Nizer attorneys were recognized on the Metro New York 2014 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Twenty-two partners, senior counsel and counsel were selected as Super Lawyers. Four counsel and associates were selected as Rising Stars. The 2014 selections crossed all major practice groups. The annual Super Lawyers lists are a result of confidential peer review and independent research.

•When Your Art Becomes My Art (New York State Bar Association, Inside magazine)

Reprinted with permission from: Inside, Winter 2013, Vol. 31, No. 3, published by the New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207.

•Super Lawyers (2013)

Nineteen Phillips Nizer attorneys were selected by Super Lawyers and recognized in the 2013 New York Super Lawyers - Metro Edition publication. As was the case in 2012, attorneys selected represented several practice areas. The Firm achieved a significant increase in the number of honorees, including one recognized as a Rising Star . Each year, attorneys are nominated across various legal practices and vetted through a process of confidential peer review. Independent research by the publisher is an important component before one can be selected as a Super Lawyer .

• U.S. News-Best Lawyers (2013)

For the second consecutive year, Phillips Nizer was honored as one of the nation's Best Law Firms . The Firm received high ranks the areas of Trusts & Estates Law, Trademark Law, Copyright Law and Family Law.

•Super Lawyers (2012)

Phillips Nizer was honored with the selection of twelve of its attorneys for the 2012 New York Super Lawyers - Metro edition. The attorneys were recognized across seven practice areas - Alternative Dispute Resolution, Entertainment Law, Environmental Law, Estate Planning & Probate Law, Family Law, General Litigation, and Real Estate Law.

•Appropriation Of Photos: Where To Draw The Line - Part 2 (Law360)

•Appropriation Of Photos: Where To Draw The Line - Part 1 (Law360)

Areas of Practice (12)

  • Corporate & Business Law
  • Fashion
  • Intellectual Property, Fashion and Entertainment
  • Copyright
  • Trademark
  • Art Law
  • Entertainment
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Appellate Practice
  • International
  • German Practice
  • French Practice

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(212) 841-0552  Phone
(212) 262-5152  Fax
University Attended:
University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude, 1976
Law School Attended:
Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1979
Year of First Admission:
US Ct. of Appeals, 2nd Cir.; New York

Professional Memberships

•International Trademark Association (INTA) (Member, Panel of Trademark Mediators )
•International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) (Member, Panel of Distinguished Neutrals )
•Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) (Member, Exchange Network, International Mediation)
•Copyright Society of the USA
•German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property
•International Association of Art Critics
•American Society of Media Photographers
•Video Game Bar Association
•French-American Chamber of Commerce (New York Chapter)

Reported Cases:
Representative Matters: Provides ongoing anti-counterfeiting, trademark enforcement and other IP protection activities for leading European and American luxury and general-market brands.; Represents major retailers in the implementation of strategic initiatives, including private label programs and development of new lines of business.; Represented a major fashion label on the development of its worldwide licensing program.; Represents companies in all aspects of complex technology transactions, including software development and licensing and hardware acquisition agreements.; Provided full legal services in the development of massively multiplayer online games for, respectively, a major United States television network and a European-based entertainment group.; Concluded licenses for hundreds of games for the launch and operation of a premier legacy games broadband network.; Guided a major electronics company through its Western Hemisphere launch of its new hand-held wireless entertainment platform.; Helped implement the launch of state-of-the-art game platforms and new mobile services for leading electronics and entertainment concerns.; Represent print publishers, authors and literary agents in the development and publication of books and journals and in their transition to electronic publishing.; Coordinate and implement legal compliance for promotions, including sweepstakes and contests, for consumer products companies.

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • High ethical standing icon
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

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