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Aaron M. Wais, CIPP/US

Partner, through his Professional Corporation - los angeles

Experience

Legal Expertise

Aaron is a co-chair of MSK’s Entertainment & IP Litigation Group and a member of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection Group. He is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional/U.S.

Aaron represents a broad swath of companies and individuals ranging from those in the entertainment field – including film and television studios, production companies, music companies, producers, directors, and owners of television, film and music properties – to retailers, designers, global advertising companies, and others in a wide range of disputes, with a particular focus on copyright, trademark, right of publicity, and First Amendment litigation.  Throughout his career, Aaron has also represented companies in various other disputes involving labor and employment claims, profit participation and royalty issues, distribution, merchandising and licensing rights, and breach of contract.  He has substantial trial, arbitration, and appellate experience.

Outside of the courtroom, Aaron provides proactive and sophisticated legal advice in the constantly evolving world of data privacy and protection, as well as advertising law and intellectual property protection. 

Representative Matters

  • Recently obtained judgment on the pleadings in a trademark dispute by proving Plaintiff’s marks were generic, which also resulted in cancellation of plaintiffs’ marks.
  • Recently obtained judgment as a matter of law on behalf of defendants being sued for copyright infringement over a hit pop song.
  • Currently prosecuting claims of copyright infringement on behalf of record companies against company that used works without permission.
  • Currently defending production company against copyright infringement claims based on contention that defendants’ show infringes plaintiff’s show.
  • Currently defending streaming service and other defendants against claims that their documentary defamed plaintiffs.
  • Currently defending news organization against claims of employment discrimination involving First Amendment defenses.
  • Currently defending e-retailer against claims of copyright infringement over the design of goods.
  • Currently defending retailer against claims of false advertising involving labeling of product.
  • Prior successful defense of television network and production company against wrongful termination claims arising out of writing off character from popular television show, including serving as trial counsel.
  • Prior representation of international mobile phone company against claims of copyright infringement.
  • Prior representation of apparel company against allegations of employment discrimination and sexual harassment.
  • Prior representation of production companies against claims of copyright infringement.
  • Prior representation of global petroleum company against allegations of employment discrimination.
  • Prior representation a television production company and television network against claims of copyright infringement and failure to pay royalties arising out of airing and distribution of two television shows.
  • Prior representation of artists and recording companies against claims of copyright infringement over various songs.
  • Prosecuted claims of false advertising and obtained preliminary injunction arising out the use of allegedly false internet review websites and other allegedly improper online advertising practices.
  • On behalf of national advertising company, successfully brought Anti-SLAPP motion and struck complaint alleging misappropriation, false advertising, and unfair competition arising out of alleged unauthorized use of former Olympic athletes’ name and likeness.
  • Currently assessing and drafting data privacy and protection policies (internal and external) for multiple companies.
  • Currently seeking a declaration that television production company’s television show does not infringe defendant’s copyrighted work.
  • On behalf of Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment, and James Cameron, obtained summary judgment in multiple copyright infringement and breach of contract suits brought by plaintiffs claiming that the motion picture Avatar was based on their ideas, screenplays or drawings.
  • On behalf of UMG Recordings, Inc., awarded summary judgment with respect to dispute over royalties allegedly owed to artist by third-party.
  • On behalf of author, publisher, and media outlets, obtained dismissal of defamation claims arising from the biography of a high-profile pop singer in trial court and on appeal.
  • Represented multiple furniture companies in trademark infringement and misappropriation litigation filed by former and current celebrities, including the Marlon Brando Estate and Clint Eastwood.
  • Represented major licensor of children’s entertainment properties in breach of contract dispute involving credit and production rights.
  • Represented major licensor of children’s entertainment properties in dispute involving alleged breach of contract and fraud arising out of trademark licensing.
  • Represented national clothing manufacturer against claims of copyright infringement and vicarious copyright infringement.

Other Career Experience

  • Student Appellate Attorney, Georgetown University Law Center Appellate Litigation Clinic, Washington, DC (2000-2001)
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Wendell P. Gardner, J.R., Superior Court, Washington, DC (1999)

Headlines

Notable Published Decisions

Admissions

  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court
  •    Central District of California
  •    Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  •    First Circuit
  •    Ninth Circuit

Education

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2001

Staff and Senior Editor, Georgetown Journal of International Law; Dean's List

College of William and Mary, B.A., 1998; High Honors

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