entertainment litigation

The collaborative nature of the entertainment industry can foster inspired creations, but can also lead to complex disputes between parties. As the industry continues to change, with new models for creating, delivering and accessing media, participants require comprehensive legal advice and a robust defense of their interests. Befitting to the role, Willenken litigators are compelling performers who can advocate convincingly for a client’s position at trial and in mediation and arbitration.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in entertainment litigation, including matters involving feature films, television series, music, and theater. We have litigated cases involving some of the world’s leading motion picture and television studios, networks, and music companies. We handle matters involving profit participation, copyright, idea submission, trademark, distribution, financing, and breach of contract. Furthermore, our attorneys have experience with cases in federal and state court, as well as in arbitral forums.

We work closely with our clients at all stages of the matter, from inception through to trial, and beyond. During this process we learn as much as we can about our clients’ goals and business concerns; this studied approach ensures that the strategies we develop are optimized for our clients’ needs. Our goal is to achieve the best possible result for each client while also being mindful of potential business ramifications.

Our attorneys have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in entertainment matters. This gives us a uniquely comprehensive perspective on each party’s strategies and perspectives. We utilize this knowledge to analyze each case’s strengths and weaknesses, to seek and respond to discovery, prepare and respond to motions, determine which experts to retain, prepare for trial, and conduct the trial and any relevant post-trial activities. We know how to place the maximum pressure on the opposing parties, and the optimal times to apply that pressure. Although we are always willing to resolve a matter through negotiations when it is in the client’s best interests, we prepare each case as if it will go to court. Should it come to trial, clients will find that our attorneys are never unrehearsed and that they are capable of strategic improvisation.

The entertainment litigation matters that our attorneys have handled include the following:

  • Multiple profit participation cases involving successful television series and seminal feature films.
  • Copyright cases involving feature films, television series, and hit songs.
  • An idea submission case involving one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
  • A trademark infringement case involving a major motion picture.
  • A trademark infringement case involving an extremely popular musical group that was about to release a new album.
  • A copyright dispute involving a seminal Broadway musical.
  • Merchandising disputes involving a seminal Broadway musical.

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