Peter Shimamoto

Partner
Biography
  • Bio
  • Honors
  • Cases
  • Clients
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Professional Affiliations
  • News

Peter Shimamoto has more than 30 years of experience in complex commercial civil litigation, with an emphasis on entertainment and intellectual property matters. An experienced trial attorney, Peter has represented plaintiffs and defendants in all stages of litigation in federal court, state court, and arbitrations, from prefiling through trial and appeal. Through motion practice, at trial, on appeal, and through settlement, he consistently obtains winning results for his clients.

From the outset, Peter focuses on gaining a deep understanding of his clients’ business and goals. Throughout the dispute resolution process, he never loses sight of their best interests or how the matter at hand may impact those goals. Peter thoroughly investigates the relevant facts, and evaluates the case’s strengths and potential weaknesses. He also tries to understand the perspectives and goals of the other parties involved and anticipate their arguments and strategies. While a detailed understanding of the case is essential, experience has taught Peter the importance of keeping the “big picture” in focus. Taking this disciplined approach, he is able to explain persuasively—in straightforward concepts that resonate with the fact finder emotionally and intellectually—why his client should prevail.

Peter has a wealth of experience in entertainment law; he has litigated cases involving some of the nation’s leading artists, motion picture studios, television networks, television production companies, and music companies. He has handled numerous cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, profit participation, licensing and distribution, financing, breach of contract, trade secrets, defamation, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Cases of note include: profit participation cases involving the television series “Will & Grace” and “Gilmore Girls,” and the motion picture “The Exorcist”; copyright infringement cases involving the motion picture “Pearl Harbor,” Mariah Carey’s hit song “Hero,” and Jonathan Larson’s musical “Rent”; and trademark infringement cases involving Old Navy, Tinder, and the musical group One Direction. Peter’s clients have obtained more than $100 million in jury verdicts and settlements.

Peter honed his practice at law firms in New York and Los Angeles, including Irell & Manella LLP. Before joining Willenken, he started his own boutique firm, Insignis Law. He is a member of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance, the Copyright Society of the USA, and the Los Angeles Copyright Society. Outside of law, Peter is vice-chair of the Board of Directors for East West Players, the nation’s premier Asian American theater organization.

Higher education honors include:

  • Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • Phi Beta Kappa

The following is a representative sample of Peter’s casework (completed at prior firms):

The following is a representative sample of Peter’s clients:

  • BMG Music
  • Hugo Boss
  • JAMDAT Mobile
  • MTV Networks
  • NBCUniversal
  • New York Daily News
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Pixar
  • Reed Publishing
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Co-Presenter, “Hot Topics in Copyright and Trademark Law,” NAPABA Webinar (November 19, 2019)
Willenken Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

November 23, 2020

Willenken Joins the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

August 26, 2020

Firm Update on COVID-19 (Revised March 19, 2020)

March 16, 2020

Biography

Peter Shimamoto has more than 30 years of experience in complex commercial civil litigation, with an emphasis on entertainment and intellectual property matters. An experienced trial attorney, Peter has represented plaintiffs and defendants in all stages of litigation in federal court, state court, and arbitrations, from prefiling through trial and appeal. Through motion practice, at trial, on appeal, and through settlement, he consistently obtains winning results for his clients.

From the outset, Peter focuses on gaining a deep understanding of his clients’ business and goals. Throughout the dispute resolution process, he never loses sight of their best interests or how the matter at hand may impact those goals. Peter thoroughly investigates the relevant facts, and evaluates the case’s strengths and potential weaknesses. He also tries to understand the perspectives and goals of the other parties involved and anticipate their arguments and strategies. While a detailed understanding of the case is essential, experience has taught Peter the importance of keeping the “big picture” in focus. Taking this disciplined approach, he is able to explain persuasively—in straightforward concepts that resonate with the fact finder emotionally and intellectually—why his client should prevail.

Peter has a wealth of experience in entertainment law; he has litigated cases involving some of the nation’s leading artists, motion picture studios, television networks, television production companies, and music companies. He has handled numerous cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, profit participation, licensing and distribution, financing, breach of contract, trade secrets, defamation, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Cases of note include: profit participation cases involving the television series “Will & Grace” and “Gilmore Girls,” and the motion picture “The Exorcist”; copyright infringement cases involving the motion picture “Pearl Harbor,” Mariah Carey’s hit song “Hero,” and Jonathan Larson’s musical “Rent”; and trademark infringement cases involving Old Navy, Tinder, and the musical group One Direction. Peter’s clients have obtained more than $100 million in jury verdicts and settlements.

Peter honed his practice at law firms in New York and Los Angeles, including Irell & Manella LLP. Before joining Willenken, he started his own boutique firm, Insignis Law. He is a member of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance, the Copyright Society of the USA, and the Los Angeles Copyright Society. Outside of law, Peter is vice-chair of the Board of Directors for East West Players, the nation’s premier Asian American theater organization.

Honors

Higher education honors include:

  • Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Cases

The following is a representative sample of Peter’s casework (completed at prior firms):

Clients

The following is a representative sample of Peter’s clients:

  • BMG Music
  • Hugo Boss
  • JAMDAT Mobile
  • MTV Networks
  • NBCUniversal
  • New York Daily News
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Pixar
  • Reed Publishing
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • The Walt Disney Company

Speaking Engagements

  • Co-Presenter, “Hot Topics in Copyright and Trademark Law,” NAPABA Webinar (November 19, 2019)

Professional Affiliations

  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1985
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., high honors, 1982
  • Admitted to the State Bar of California
  • Admitted to the New York State Bar
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

related alerts (view all)

Hot Topics in Copyright and Trademark Law
Calif. High Court Should Review Pure Flix Idea Theft Case
Can Aloha Poke Be Trademarked?

related alerts (view all)

Hot Topics in Copyright and Trademark Law
Calif. High Court Should Review Pure Flix Idea Theft Case
Can Aloha Poke Be Trademarked?

latest news about peter

Willenken Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

November 23, 2020

Willenken Joins the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

August 26, 2020

Firm Update on COVID-19 (Revised March 19, 2020)

March 16, 2020

latest news about peter

Willenken Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

November 23, 2020

Willenken Joins the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

August 26, 2020

Firm Update on COVID-19 (Revised March 19, 2020)

March 16, 2020