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Guy R. Cohen is a partner in Davis & Gilbert’s Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment and Litigation Groups. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with more than 20 years of diverse commercial litigation experience in a number of areas, including:

  • Intellectual Property and False Advertising Litigation
  • Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Litigation
  • Employment Discrimination Litigation
  • Complex Contractual Disputes and Business Torts

Mr. Cohen brings a broad perspective to his cases, having represented companies of all sizes, as well as both individual plaintiffs and defendants, in a wide variety of cases. He has successfully represented many major corporations and marketing communications firms in intellectual property and employment disputes, including Facebook, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, TED Conferences, Mars, PR Newswire, r-pac International, AOL, Mitsubishi, Wieden + Kennedy, BBDO Worldwide, Grey Worldwide, and Omnicom Media Group. Mr. Cohen has also prosecuted high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of individual plaintiffs, and represented program and content producers in various disputes with major record labels and publishers over alleged infringement of compositions and sound recordings. In his employment litigation practice, he has defended employees accused of violating post-employment restrictive covenants, and he has represented owners of closely held corporations in internal disputes involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and related business torts. He has won defendants’ verdicts in many employment discrimination cases and arbitrations and has successfully represented multiple clients in preliminary injunction hearings in restrictive covenant and false advertising disputes. Additionally, Mr. Cohen regularly counsels his clients on a range of employment, intellectual property, advertising, and contractual issues.

Mr. Cohen has been recognized in The Legal 500 U.S. 2014 in the area of intellectual property: copyright, and was previously recognized in the guide in the area of marketing and advertising, where he was noted for his strength in IP litigation. He was selected as a Super Lawyer by New York Metro Super Lawyers in 2013.

Before joining Davis & Gilbert, Mr. Cohen was a trial lawyer with the Law Department of the City of New York, where he handled primarily employment discrimination and civil rights cases.

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Intellectual Property:

  • Represented Facebook and Wieden + Kennedy in a high-profile music copyright case brought by Eight Mile Style, Eminem’s publishing company. Eight Mile Style alleged that a musical phrase in a Facebook commercial infringed its copyright in the composition Under the Influence.
  • Represented Levi Strauss in a copyright lawsuit in which a photographer asserted that images contained in certain print and televisions advertisements infringed copyrights in her photographs. The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order dismissing the Complaint based on lack of substantial similarity in the works at issue. The District Court subsequently awarded the defendants attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act.
  • Represents TED Conferences in all intellectual property matters, including disputes over infringement of its “TED” and “TED Talks” trademarks.
  • Represented BBDO Worldwide in a lawsuit brought by Levon Helm, a former member of the rock group The Band. The NY Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed summary judgment dismissing Helm’s claim that use of his vocal performance on The Weight, The Band’s signature song, in a television commercial violated his statutory right of privacy.
  • Successfully represented the authors of the screenplay Dodgeball: The Movie in a high-profile copyright-infringement lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox concerning the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. The case settled shortly after a favorable decision denying Fox’s summary judgment motion and The New York Times ran a feature article on the Dodgeball case.

Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants:

  • Successfully defended r-pac International, a global packaging and labeling company, and a new employee against an injunction sought by Avery Dennison, the employee’s former employer. Following expedited discovery and an evidentiary hearing, a federal judge determined that restrictive covenants did not bar the employee from working in r-pac’s Hong Kong office.
  • Represented a major newswire and several new IT employees against an injunction motion brought by a competitor, and negotiated a settlement following a two-day evidentiary hearing in the Commercial Division of New York Supreme Court.
  • Obtained favorable settlements for r-pac International in several lawsuits alleging that employees usurped trade secrets and solicited business in violation of restrictive covenants with their prior employer.
  • Obtained on behalf of the inventor and distributor of GoSmile tooth-whitening products dismissal of a derivative lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the inventor’s prior employer owned the rights to the products.
  • Successfully represented the licensee of Hello Kitty-branded consumer electronics products against the claim that the licensee procured the license in violation of his fiduciary obligations to his former employer.
  • Obtained an injunction barring two marketing executives from competing with the agency to which they had sold their business. Subsequently obtained a substantial monetary settlement.

Employment Discrimination and Employment-Related Disputes:

  • Obtained a defense verdict for a national temporary staffing agency in an employment discrimination case. A Brooklyn jury swiftly rejected the plaintiff’s claim that she was subjected to unlawful retaliation after she complained about alleged sexual harassment.
  • Obtained monetary sanctions against the law firm Thompson Wigdor & Gilly for allowing a client in an employment discrimination suit to conceal that she had obtained a new job for substantially more money. The case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice within days after articles on the sanctions appeared in several news publications.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed by the Second Circuit, dismissing a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a limousine company manager. The case presented significant challenges, as the plaintiff remained employed for more than a year after filing an EEOC charge alleging age and national origin discrimination.
  • Successfully represented a major media buying agency in a suit brought by a senior executive who remained employed after filing suit. Obtained summary judgment on discrimination and retaliation claims concerning the executive’s termination, and concurrently counseled the agency on performance issues leading to the executive’s termination.
  • Successfully represented a consulting company in multi-faceted arbitration and litigation with its former CEO. Obtained an arbitration award rejecting the claim that the CEO’s employment was terminated without cause and denying his multi-million dollar claims for severance pay and incentive compensation. Obtained substantial judgments on contested promissory notes.

Contract Disputes and Business Torts:

  • Represented Meredith Perry, a founder of highly regarded start-up uBeam, Inc., in litigation with a co-founder over control, ownership rights and alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. Negotiated a favorable settlement establishing Ms. Perry’s control over the venture.
  • Represented a marketing communications holding company in a lawsuit alleging that it was fraudulently induced to purchase an agency by the agency’s owner and CEO.
  • Litigated a dispute under multiple LLC operating agreements between the two managing members of Rare restaurants and lounges. Procured a favorable settlement in which our client obtained complete control over the restaurants, lounges and associated intellectual property.
  • Represented a film producer in litigation with a distributor over its failure to release the independent film Lbs. under the terms of a distribution agreement. Obtained a favorable settlement under which all rights to the film were returned to the producer.
  • Represented the 50% owner of a real estate corporation in long-running litigation with the co-owner. Negotiated a settlement resulting in the eventual sale of certain waterfront property for a favorable price.
  • Obtained a federal jury verdict resulting in a $4 million judgment for a law firm in a breach-of-contract dispute with a former client.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

"Litigating Copyright Claims: Recent Developments and Practical Tips," Davis & Gilbert Intellectual Property Litigation Breakfast Seminar, September 21, 2011

PRESS

Mentioned, CourtHouseNews.com: Entertainment Law Digest, "Screenwriter Accuses Fox of Stealing 'Past Life'" by Travis Sanford, August 10, 2011

Quoted, Law360.com, "Horror Writer Targets Fox In 'Past Life' Script Fight," by Stewart Bishop, August 9, 2011

Quoted, Law360, "Thompson Wigdor Sanctioned Over Attempt To Conceal," by Zach Winnick, May 31, 2011

Quoted, New York Law Journal, "Law Firm Is Sanctioned Over Client’s Concealment in Bias Suit," by Mark Hamblett, May 27, 2011

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

EDUCATION

Fordham University, J.D., 1993
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1988


The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Intellectual Property:

  • Represented Facebook and Wieden + Kennedy in a high-profile music copyright case brought by Eight Mile Style, Eminem’s publishing company. Eight Mile Style alleged that a musical phrase in a Facebook commercial infringed its copyright in the composition Under the Influence.
  • Represented Levi Strauss in a copyright lawsuit in which a photographer asserted that images contained in certain print and televisions advertisements infringed copyrights in her photographs. The Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order dismissing the Complaint based on lack of substantial similarity in the works at issue. The District Court subsequently awarded the defendants attorneys’ fees under the Copyright Act.
  • Represents TED Conferences in all intellectual property matters, including disputes over infringement of its “TED” and “TED Talks” trademarks.
  • Represented BBDO Worldwide in a lawsuit brought by Levon Helm, a former member of the rock group The Band. The NY Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed summary judgment dismissing Helm’s claim that use of his vocal performance on The Weight, The Band’s signature song, in a television commercial violated his statutory right of privacy.
  • Successfully represented the authors of the screenplay Dodgeball: The Movie in a high-profile copyright-infringement lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox concerning the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. The case settled shortly after a favorable decision denying Fox’s summary judgment motion and The New York Times ran a feature article on the Dodgeball case.

Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants:

  • Successfully defended r-pac International, a global packaging and labeling company, and a new employee against an injunction sought by Avery Dennison, the employee’s former employer. Following expedited discovery and an evidentiary hearing, a federal judge determined that restrictive covenants did not bar the employee from working in r-pac’s Hong Kong office.
  • Represented a major newswire and several new IT employees against an injunction motion brought by a competitor, and negotiated a settlement following a two-day evidentiary hearing in the Commercial Division of New York Supreme Court.
  • Obtained favorable settlements for r-pac International in several lawsuits alleging that employees usurped trade secrets and solicited business in violation of restrictive covenants with their prior employer.
  • Obtained on behalf of the inventor and distributor of GoSmile tooth-whitening products dismissal of a derivative lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the inventor’s prior employer owned the rights to the products.
  • Successfully represented the licensee of Hello Kitty-branded consumer electronics products against the claim that the licensee procured the license in violation of his fiduciary obligations to his former employer.
  • Obtained an injunction barring two marketing executives from competing with the agency to which they had sold their business. Subsequently obtained a substantial monetary settlement.

Employment Discrimination and Employment-Related Disputes:

  • Obtained a defense verdict for a national temporary staffing agency in an employment discrimination case. A Brooklyn jury swiftly rejected the plaintiff’s claim that she was subjected to unlawful retaliation after she complained about alleged sexual harassment.
  • Obtained monetary sanctions against the law firm Thompson Wigdor & Gilly for allowing a client in an employment discrimination suit to conceal that she had obtained a new job for substantially more money. The case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice within days after articles on the sanctions appeared in several news publications.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed by the Second Circuit, dismissing a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a limousine company manager. The case presented significant challenges, as the plaintiff remained employed for more than a year after filing an EEOC charge alleging age and national origin discrimination.
  • Successfully represented a major media buying agency in a suit brought by a senior executive who remained employed after filing suit. Obtained summary judgment on discrimination and retaliation claims concerning the executive’s termination, and concurrently counseled the agency on performance issues leading to the executive’s termination.
  • Successfully represented a consulting company in multi-faceted arbitration and litigation with its former CEO. Obtained an arbitration award rejecting the claim that the CEO’s employment was terminated without cause and denying his multi-million dollar claims for severance pay and incentive compensation. Obtained substantial judgments on contested promissory notes.

Contract Disputes and Business Torts:

  • Represented Meredith Perry, a founder of highly regarded start-up uBeam, Inc., in litigation with a co-founder over control, ownership rights and alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. Negotiated a favorable settlement establishing Ms. Perry’s control over the venture.
  • Represented a marketing communications holding company in a lawsuit alleging that it was fraudulently induced to purchase an agency by the agency’s owner and CEO.
  • Litigated a dispute under multiple LLC operating agreements between the two managing members of Rare restaurants and lounges. Procured a favorable settlement in which our client obtained complete control over the restaurants, lounges and associated intellectual property.
  • Represented a film producer in litigation with a distributor over its failure to release the independent film Lbs. under the terms of a distribution agreement. Obtained a favorable settlement under which all rights to the film were returned to the producer.
  • Represented the 50% owner of a real estate corporation in long-running litigation with the co-owner. Negotiated a settlement resulting in the eventual sale of certain waterfront property for a favorable price.
  • Obtained a federal jury verdict resulting in a $4 million judgment for a law firm in a breach-of-contract dispute with a former client.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

"Litigating Copyright Claims: Recent Developments and Practical Tips," Davis & Gilbert Intellectual Property Litigation Breakfast Seminar, September 21, 2011

PRESS

Mentioned, CourtHouseNews.com: Entertainment Law Digest, "Screenwriter Accuses Fox of Stealing 'Past Life'" by Travis Sanford, August 10, 2011

Quoted, Law360.com, "Horror Writer Targets Fox In 'Past Life' Script Fight," by Stewart Bishop, August 9, 2011

Quoted, Law360, "Thompson Wigdor Sanctioned Over Attempt To Conceal," by Zach Winnick, May 31, 2011

Quoted, New York Law Journal, "Law Firm Is Sanctioned Over Client’s Concealment in Bias Suit," by Mark Hamblett, May 27, 2011

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

EDUCATION

Fordham University, J.D., 1993
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1988


The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms