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Eleanor M. Lackman

Experience

Legal Expertise

Eleanor M. Lackman is a nationally recognized leader in copyright, trademark, and media, entertainment, and sports litigation and counseling. Among other recognitions, Eleanor has been repeatedly named as one of the top 100 lawyers in the New York Metro area by Super Lawyers, one of the top 250 women in IP worldwide by Managing IP, a “Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and New York Law Journal, and one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders” by Variety. Chambers USA has included her in its rankings each year since 2014, noting most recently her reputation for “being especially strategic, thoughtful and creative.”  

Eleanor’s clients include leading names and up-and-coming companies in the media, entertainment, sports and games, ecommerce, fashion, technology, and consumer goods industries.  Eleanor also is dedicated to the community, including representing clients on numerous pro bono matters and serving on the board of New York’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. As part of her commitment to her clients in the industries she works with the most, Eleanor splits her time between MSK’s offices in New York and California.

Eleanor maintains a broad-based practice covering copyright and trademark issues – from creation and protection through litigation – and pivots easily from being a “hired gun” to serving as outside general counsel for innovative and forward-thinking clients.  During her 17 years of practice, she has served successfully as lead counsel at trial, won multiple appeals in federal and state courts, and won a wide array of motions in IP and commercial cases in courts across the country and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  Major industry players routinely call on her to draft amicus briefs in the most closely watched copyright and trademark cases in the country.  At the same time, she works hand-in-hand with brand owners on brand development and rebranding, trademark clearance and protection, brand enforcement and anti-counterfeiting, risk assessment and mitigation, and licensing, acquisitions, and sales of trademark and copyright assets. 

She also is very active in the legal bar and has held leadership positions with leading bar groups.  Eleanor frequently shares her passion for IP law with others and has been invited by organizations across the country to speak about topics ranging from copyright and trademark fundamentals to cutting-edge issues facing traditional and online media businesses. 

Representative Matters

Most of Eleanor’s matters relate to media and entertainment defense, trademark and copyright enforcement, and counseling and strategy on trademark and copyright issues, with a specialty in matters at the intersection of IP and technology.

Media and Entertainment Defense Litigation

  • On motion to dismiss, prevailed on fair use defense against copyright infringement claim regarding media company’s use of photograph in online article. (Yang v. Mic Network, Inc., S.D.N.Y.)
  • Won motion to dismiss idea submission and misappropriation claims relating to sports app. (Norris v. NBA Properties, Inc., S.D.N.Y.)
  • On behalf of media company, won affirmance of motion to dismiss contract and trademark claims brought by alleged co-creator of website. (Kim v. Francis & BDG Media, Inc., N.Y. 1st Dep’t.)
  • Won landmark copyright ruling for motion picture production company against contributor to film, including winning preliminary injunction, summary judgment and two appeals. (16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin, S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir.)*
  • Defended esports company in trademark infringement suit; obtained favorable resolution following final pretrial conference.*
  • Won summary judgment and appeal in defending against copyright and contract claims asserted against famous rap artist concerning record label logo. (Walker v. Carter, S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir.)*
  • Retained by Authors Guild to represent author in defending against preliminary injunction motion seeking to enjoin use of term for book titles; preliminary injunction denied. (Hop Hop Productions v. Kneupper, S.D.N.Y.)*
  • Won motion to dismiss claims asserted against media company on statute of limitations and other grounds, reducing potential exposure by 94% at pleading stage followed shortly by resolution of case. (Minden Pictures, Inc. v. BuzzFeed, Inc., S.D.N.Y.)*
  • Successfully defeated an action, based on alleged trademark infringement, for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that threatened U.S. distribution of Oscar®-nominated film. (Illusionist Distribution, LLC v. Sony Pictures Classics, Inc., C.D. Cal.)*
  • Won motion to dismiss copyright and trademark infringement claims brought by pinball machine manufacturer against major motion picture studio over set dressing in film. (Gottlieb Dev. LLC v. Paramount Pictures Corp., S.D.N.Y.)*

IP Protection, Enforcement, and Counseling

  • Serving as outside counsel for enforcement of IP rights on behalf of several major sports leagues.
  • Representing companies and non-profit organizations in a variety of industries on brand adoption, trademark clearance, worldwide trademark portfolio filing and management, and IP licensing.
  • Advising several companies on video and music usage, statutory law, licensing, and fair use.
  • Obtained dozens of domain names from infringers and cybersquatters via UDRP, URS and other domain mechanisms.
  • Following trial and hearing at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, procured ruling denying registration of confusingly similar trademark. (Cards Against Humanity, LLC v. Vampire Squid Cards LLC, T.T.A.B.)*
  • Won injunctive relief on behalf of software company against financial institution over unlicensed use of client’s software. (Complex Systems, Inc. v. ABN AMRO Bank N.V., S.D.N.Y.)*
  • Represented rights owners in cutting-edge cases Cartoon Network LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc. (“Cablevision”) (S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir.) and Tiffany (NJ) Inc. v. eBay Inc. (S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir.).*
  • Drafted amicus briefs on behalf of industry organizations in major copyright and trademark cases including Oracle USA v. Google; Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC*; Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com*Rimini Street Inc. v. Oracle USA Inc.*; VHT v. Zillow*Capitol Records v. ReDigi*; Disney Enterprises v. VidAngel*; WNET v. Aereo*; Fox Television Stations v. FilmOn X*; Viacom v. YouTube*; Authors Guild v. HathiTrust*; and Cambridge University Press v. Becker*.
  • Procured nine-figure settlement for client in copyright infringement dispute.*
  • Led global trademark clearance, prosecution and re-branding project for spin-off of division of leading hotel and resort company.*

*Denotes matters handled prior to joining MSK.

Honors & Awards

  • “Leading Lawyer," Intellectual Property: Trademark and Copyright, Chambers USA, 2014-2020
  • “Top 250 Women in IP Worldwide," Managing IP, 2019 and 2020
  • “Notable Women in Law," Crain’s New York Business, 2019 and 2020
  • “Top 100: New York — Metro,” Super Lawyers®, 2018-2020
  • “Top 50: Women New York — Metro,” Super Lawyers®, 2017-2020
  • “Best Lawyer, Trademark Law,” Best Lawyers in America, 2019 and 2020
  • “Best Lawyer, Copyright Law,” Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2020
  • “Super Lawyer, Intellectual Property Litigation,” New York, Super Lawyers®, 2013-2020
  • “IP Star," Managing IP, 2018-2020
  • Trailblazer,” New York Law Journal, 2019
  • “Elite Boutique Trailblazer,” National Law Journal, 2018
  • “Legal Impact Report,” Variety, 2017
  • “Best in Copyright,” America's Women in Business Law Awards, LMG Euromoney, 2017
  • “Rising Star, Media & Entertainment," Law360, 2016 and 2017
  • “Hollywood’s New Leaders,” Law & Finance, Variety, 2016
  • “Rising Star, Intellectual Property Litigation,” New York, Super Lawyers, 2012

Professional, Business and civic Affiliations

  • Board Member; Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (2020)
  • Copyright Society of the USA: Trustee; Co-National Chapters Coordinator (2016-2018); Past Officer; Co-Chair, New York Chapter (2014-2016); Chair of Membership Committee (2009-2014)
  • International Trademark Association (INTA): Anti-Counterfeiting Committee (2020); International Amicus Committee (2016-2019); Internet Committee (2012-2015)
  • Media Law Resource Center (MLRC), Litigation and Copyright & Trademark Committees
  • Copyright Alliance, Amicus Committee
  • Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP), Board of Advisors
  • National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Entertainment Law Initiative Judge
  • New York University Polytechnic Institute, Adjunct Professor

Other Career Experience

  • Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, 2011-2019
  • Hogan Lovells US LLP, 2009-2011
  • Arnold & Porter LLP, 2005-2009
  • Loeb & Loeb LLP, 2003-2005

Headlines

Publications

Events & Speaking Engagements

Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court
  •       Northern District of California
  •       Central District of California
  •       District of Colorado
  •       Southern District of New York
  •       Eastern District of New York
  •       Northern District of New York
  •       Western District of New York     
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  •       Second Circuit
  •       Fourth Circuit
  •       Seventh Circuit
  •       Ninth Circuit
  •       Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 2003

Rollins College, A.B. Hon., magna cum laude, 2000

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