Peter Shimamoto

Partner
Biography
  • Bio
  • Honors
  • Winning Matters
  • 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 has in-depth trial and arbitration experience. His representative experience includes:

  • Represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement trial against one of the world’s largest apparel manufacturers. After a one week trial, the jury found the defendant liable for infringement.
  • Represented the plaintiff in a three week copyright infringement trial against a large software company. The jury found the defendant liable for infringement.
  • Represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement trial against a large internet company.
  • Represented a perfume manufacturer in an arbitration against one of its former executives. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the manufacturer.
  • Defended a Fortune 500 company in an arbitration brought by the purchaser of one of the defendant’s former subsidiaries. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the defendant.
  • Member of the team that represented a production company in a six week IFTA arbitration involving a dispute against a major financial institution regarding film financing for a slate of feature films. Peter examined and cross-examined numerous witnesses during the proceeding and was integrally involved in all facets of the litigation.
  • Second chair in a two month trial representing one of the defendants in an antitrust action. Although the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, it awarded plaintiff less than 3 percent of the damages it had requested.
  • Member of the trial team that represented an entertainment studio in a dispute with the creators of a popular television show regarding participation payments for the show. The trial lasted for six weeks and settled before the jury issued a verdict.

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
Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court

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)
firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2021

April 20, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation US Awards 2021

March 15, 2021

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 has in-depth trial and arbitration experience. His representative experience includes:

  • Represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement trial against one of the world’s largest apparel manufacturers. After a one week trial, the jury found the defendant liable for infringement.
  • Represented the plaintiff in a three week copyright infringement trial against a large software company. The jury found the defendant liable for infringement.
  • Represented the plaintiff in a trademark infringement trial against a large internet company.
  • Represented a perfume manufacturer in an arbitration against one of its former executives. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the manufacturer.
  • Defended a Fortune 500 company in an arbitration brought by the purchaser of one of the defendant’s former subsidiaries. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the defendant.
  • Member of the team that represented a production company in a six week IFTA arbitration involving a dispute against a major financial institution regarding film financing for a slate of feature films. Peter examined and cross-examined numerous witnesses during the proceeding and was integrally involved in all facets of the litigation.
  • Second chair in a two month trial representing one of the defendants in an antitrust action. Although the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, it awarded plaintiff less than 3 percent of the damages it had requested.
  • Member of the trial team that represented an entertainment studio in a dispute with the creators of a popular television show regarding participation payments for the show. The trial lasted for six weeks and settled before the jury issued a verdict.

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

Winning Matters

Willenken Wins Critical Liability Phase of High-Profile Lupron Supply Shortage Trial in Delaware Chancery Court

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

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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

firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2021

April 20, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation US Awards 2021

March 15, 2021

latest news about peter

firm news
Willenken Once Again Recognized as Top Firm to Work for by Los Angeles Business Journal

September 27, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2021

April 20, 2021

Willenken Shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation US Awards 2021

March 15, 2021