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Eleanor M. Lackman

Experience

Legal Expertise

Eleanor M. Lackman, Co-Chair of MSK’s Intellectual Property practice group, is a nationally recognized lawyer for copyright, trademark, and media matters. For over 20 years, Eleanor has litigated cases from inception through trial in courts across the country, while counseling copyright and brand owners from creation through protection, licensing, and beyond. Her dedication to her clients’ success has resulted in recognitions from industry trades such as Variety and Billboard and elite legal reviews including Managing IP, World Trademark Review, and Chambers Global and USA, which has recognized her 10 years running and in “Band 1” multiple years in a row for her practicality, creativity, and client service.

A recent recipient of a Master in Business Administration degree with a certificate in entertainment, media, and sports, Eleanor also deeply understands the value that lawyers provide to the business and knows what questions to ask in order to ensure that the client’s business goals are at the forefront of her legal strategy. She is a true business and legal advisor who earns trust from legal departments and business teams alike.

Eleanor is particularly known for her depth in media, entertainment, and technology. She has been at the helm of widely impactful copyright and trademark cases in those industries, including the landmark co-authorship case 16 Casa Duse v. Merkin, the leading de minimis use case Gottlieb Dev. LLC v. Paramount Pictures Corp., and Yang v. Mic Network, a fair use decision that the Freedom of the Press Foundation lauded as “a victory for media reporting.” Eleanor has procured successful outcomes for major digital media companies, record labels and music publishers, famous authors and recording artists, performing rights organizations, and well-known game companies, news and lifestyle content publishers, motion picture and television studios and distributors, sports leagues and teams, esports organizations, influencer and NIL marketing agencies, and other enterprises in the media and entertainment industries. Major industry players routinely call on her to draft amicus briefs in the most closely watched copyright and trademark cases in the country.

Eleanor’s significant depth at the intersection of IP and technology has included a wide variety of counseling and enforcement for e-commerce and software companies; procuring a summary judgment ruling centered on the contours of the DMCA; serving as counsel in Cartoon Network v. CSC Holdings (a/k/a “Cablevision”) and Tiffany v. eBay; and drafting amicus briefs in Oracle v. Google, WNET v. Aereo, Authors Guild v. Google, Capitol Records v. ReDigi, and Viacom v. YouTube, among others. Over the years, she has counseled numerous clients on matters relating to artificial intelligence, retransmission technologies, deepfakes, linking and embedding, online advertising and regulation, Section 230 issues, and other aspects of copyright, trademark, and related laws that intersect with technological developments.

Due to her demonstrated passion for the law, Eleanor has become known as a devoted advocate for clients’ IP issues across a wide array of industries beyond media, entertainment, and technology. Her work includes handling over 100 cases at the TTAB and counseling on thousands of trademark records for clients in industries including not just e-commerce, telecom, AI, IoT, software, media, entertainment, and sports, but financial services, real estate, restaurants, food and beverage, fashion and beauty, toys and games, travel and leisure, and beyond. She has held leadership positions with the Copyright Society, INTA, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and Fordham’s Center on Law and Information Policy. In addition to being a frequent speaker for organizations ranging from SXSW to PLI, Eleanor’s publications include continuously updated practice notes on copyright and trademark injunctive relief for Practical Law Company.

Representative Matters

Most of Eleanor’s work centers on two areas: litigation arising in copyright, trademark, false advertising, right of publicity, First Amendment, and related fields; and trademark and copyright counseling and strategy relating to the protection and maximization of IP assets, including counseling 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. All selected matters listed below involve Eleanor as lead counsel.

IP and Related Litigation

    • On motion to dismiss and appeal, 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., 2d Cir.)
    • At trial, defeated effort by energy drink company to block registration of logo associated with world champion professional basketball team. (Monster Energy Co. v. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., T.T.A.B.)
    • Obtained summary judgment ruling that platform for licensing of works submitted by third parties was protected by DMCA safe harbor. (Steinmetz v. Shutterstock, 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)
    • Defeated effort by company to unmask anonymous authors on financial news website; won ruling that postings were protected opinion. (Rekor Systems, Inc. v. Seeking Alpha, Inc., N.Y. County)
    • On summary judgment, won ruling upholding meaning of client agreements pertaining to influencer marketing services; full damages and interest awarded. (The Influential Network, LLC v. Darkstore, LLC, C.D. Cal.)
    • Procured pre-hearing denial of preliminary injunction motion pertaining to false advertising claims; plaintiff dropped case shortly thereafter. (Quinton Holdings v. Axys Golf LLC, D. Colo.)
    • 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.)*
    • Won summary judgment and appeal in defending against copyright and contract claims asserted against famous hip-hop artist and producer concerning record label logo. (Walker v. Carter, S.D.N.Y., 2d Cir.)*
    • Retained by the Authors Guild to represent author in defending against preliminary injunction motion seeking to enjoin use of claimed trademark 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. (Minden Pictures, Inc. v. BuzzFeed, Inc., S.D.N.Y.)*
    • Won breach of contract and copyright infringement case on behalf of artist’s estate against art dealer; injunctive relief and significant money damages awarded on motion for summary judgment. (Al Hirschfeld Foundation v. Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd., S.D.N.Y.)*

IP Protection, Enforcement, and Counseling

  • Obtained preliminary and permanent injunction and significant settlement payment in counterfeiting and trademark infringement case. (Provenance NGC v. Albright, S.D.N.Y.)
  • Serving as outside counsel for enforcement of IP rights on behalf of several major sports leagues.
  • Advising on corporate policies relating to use of generative AI.
  • Representing companies and nonprofit organizations in a variety of industries on brand adoption, trademark clearance, worldwide trademark portfolio filing and management, IP licensing, and brand enforcement online, offline, and at the borders.
  • Counseled leading sports NIL marketing agency on terms, rights, disclosures, and deal negotiation.
  • Advising several companies and their business teams on video and music usage, statutory law, licensing, and fair use.
  • Secured transfer and disabling of several dozen domain names from infringers and cybersquatters via various 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.)*
  • Drafted amicus briefs on behalf of industry organizations in major copyright and trademark cases including The Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith; 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

  • "Highly Recommended," Non-Contentious Category, WIPR Insights Trademarks Rankings: USA, 2023 
  • "Leading Lawyer," Intellectual Property: Trademark and Copyright - USA, Chambers Global Guide, 2022 and 2023
  • “Leading Lawyer," Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets – USA Nationwide & New York, Chambers USA, 2014-2024
  • “Leading Lawyer,” Media & Entertainment: Litigation, New York, Chambers USA, 2022-2024
  • "Recommended Individual," Enforcement and Litigation (NY), World Trademark Review 1000, 2020-2024
  • "Outstanding IP Practitioner," World Intellectual Property Review Leaders Directory, 2023
  • “Top 100: New York — Metro,” Super Lawyers®, 2018-2023
  • “Top 250 Women in IP Worldwide," Managing IP, 2019-2021
  • "Top Copyright Star," Managing IP, 2021, 2024
  • "Top Trademark Star," Managing IP, 2021, 2024
  • "Notable Women in Law," Crain’s New York Business, 2019 and 2020
  • "Top Music Lawyers," Billboard, 2021
  • “Best Lawyer, Trademark Law,” Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2024
  • “Best Lawyer, Copyright Law,” Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2024
  • “Best Lawyer, Litigation - Intellectual Property,” Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • “Top 50: Women New York — Metro,” Super Lawyers®, 2017-2021
  • “Super Lawyer, Intellectual Property Litigation,” New York, Super Lawyers®, 2013-2021
  • “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

  • International Trademark Association (INTA): Emerging Issues Committee (2024-2025); Anti-Counterfeiting Committee (2020-2021); International Amicus Committee (2016-2019); Internet Committee (2012-2015)
  • Co-Chair, Sports Law Committee, New York City Bar Association (2020-2023)
  • Copyright Society of the USA: Co-National Chapters Coordinator (2016-2018); Past Officer; Past Trustee (two terms); Co-Chair, New York Chapter (2014-2016); Chair of Membership Committee (2009-2014)
  • Board Member, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (NY)
  • Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy (CLIP), Board of Advisors
  • Media Law Resource Center (MLRC), Litigation and Copyright & Trademark Committees
  • Member, Los Angeles Copyright Society 
  • Copyright Alliance, Amicus Committee
  • National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Entertainment Law Initiative Judge
  • New York University Polytechnic Institute, Adjunct Professor

Headlines

Headlines

Publications

Events & Speaking Engagements

Admissions

  • California
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court
  •       Northern District of California
  •       Central District of California
  •       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

UCLA Anderson School of Management, M.B.A., Certificate in Entertainment, 2023

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

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

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