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Sara L. Edelman is a partner in the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions and Intellectual Property Practice Groups of Davis & Gilbert. Her practice is focused on advising media companies, advertising agencies, and advertisers on all aspects of copyright, trademark, right of publicity and false advertising law. In addition, Ms. Edelman regularly reviews and provides advice concerning the creation and production of advertising materials and drafts and negotiates a wide variety of agreements including talent contracts, music licenses, voiceover agreements, sponsorship agreements, consulting agreements, photographer agreements and licenses for other creative content.

Ms. Edelman also has considerable experience resolving complex issues and disputes involving claims of copyright infringement, violations of the rights of publicity, misappropriation of idea and false advertising, and is often involved in disputes before the National Advertising Division, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the National Arbitration Forum, and other adversarial proceedings related to these areas of law.

Ms. Edelman’s clients include entertainment, fashion and media companies, artists and musicians. She represents, among others, The Donna Karan Company, TED Conferences, Laird + Partners and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

  • Successfully represented a well-known food products company and its advertising agency, in an action brought by the estate of an NFL Films announcer.  The estate claimed that a "sound-alike" voiceover in commercial violated the announcer's right of publicity and caused consumers to believe falsely that the announcer endorsed its product.
  • We represented a major computer company in a copyright infringement and right of publicity action in which the plaintiff asserted that our client was liable for a third party software developer's allegedly unauthorized use of her photograph as the icon for one of its "Apps."
  • Represented a major drug manufacturer and its advertising agency in a defamation and right of publicity action in which the plaintiff, a model, alleged that her picture (along with a fictional biography) was used without her consent in advertising to promote a drug used to treat HIV.
  • Advised a national advertising agency on the development and execution of a complex campaign involving user-generated content and social networking platforms.
  • Represented a major fashion company in a talent agreement for the use of talent's image in a worldwide advertising campaign.
  • Negotiated a television distribution agreement on behalf of a leading content provider.
  • Structured and negotiated a deal for the acquisition of numerous domain names allowing the client to launch a new branding campaign and product.
  • Advised a leading advertising agency on a viral campaign involving significant copyright and parody issues.
  • Successfully represented a national advertising agency in defeating a copyright claim brought by a leading artist who claimed that an advertising campaign infringed his copyright rights in a series of photographs.
  • Advised a major apparel company on issues involving FTC endorsement guidelines and bloggers.
  • Represented a leading advertising agency and its client in a complex copyright and misappropriation of idea dispute brought by a freelance art director.
  • Successfully represented a television production company in a dispute alleging misappropriation of idea and breach of contract in connection with two episodes of a television show.
  • Successfully represented a major wireless company in a proceeding before the NAD.
  • Successfully defended a premier consumer products company and global advertising agency against copyright infringement and misappropriation of idea claims brought by a filmmaker in connection with an advertising and marketing campaign.
  • Successfully represented a prominent composer in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Music, Dr. Dre and Eminem concerning a track on The Marshall Mathers LP.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an independent advertising agency dismissing copyright and misappropriation of idea claims concerning national advertising campaign.
  • Successfully dismissed a copyright and trademark suit against a leading worldwide advertising agency and its client involving the display of an artist's mural in a television commercial based on demonstrating that defendants used only minor portion of the mural and that plaintiff's work did not function as a trademark.
  • Successfully prosecuted trademark infringement action on behalf of book publisher in which the publisher of a competing line of books agreed to change the name of its line of publications.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

"Media Trends Communications Summit," Young Jewish Professionals, June 15, 2011

“Post-Mortem Right of Publicity: Return of the Living Dead?,” New York State Bar Association, January 2008

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Expert Q&A on Right of Publicity Claims," Practical Law, April/May 2017

Co-Author, "New Copyright Office Regulations Require Websites to Re-Register for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection," D&G Intellectual Property Alert, December 2016

Co-Author, "Michael Jordan Scores on Appeal in Lawsuit Over Congratulatory Ad," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, March 2014

Co-Author, "Post-Mortem Right of Publicity under New Jersey Law Is Limited to 50 Years," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, December 2012

Co-Author, "Court Finds Press Release Was a “Commercial Use” in Right of Publicity Case," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, October 2012

Co-Author, "Court Rejects Federal Criminal Charges against Host of High-Stakes Poker Games," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, September 2012

Co-Author, “Avoiding Costly Mistakes: How to Copy 'Right' and How Not to Copy 'Wrong',” The Firm Voice, June 4, 2008

Author, “Death Pays: The Fight Over Marilyn Monroe’s Right of Publicity,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July 2007

Co-Author, “Even O. J. Simpson Should Keep His Publicity Rights,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 13, 2006

Co-Author, “Court Delivers Bitter Result To Coffee Company In Right Of Publicity CaseThe Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2005

Co-Author, “Punitive Damages Available for Infringement?,” New York Law Journal, January 24, 2005

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS

New York City Bar Association, Copyright and Literary Property Committee
International Trademark Association

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

EDUCATION

Boston University, J.D., 1993
Barnard College, B.A., cum laude, 1990


REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

  • Successfully represented a well-known food products company and its advertising agency, in an action brought by the estate of an NFL Films announcer.  The estate claimed that a "sound-alike" voiceover in commercial violated the announcer's right of publicity and caused consumers to believe falsely that the announcer endorsed its product.
  • We represented a major computer company in a copyright infringement and right of publicity action in which the plaintiff asserted that our client was liable for a third party software developer's allegedly unauthorized use of her photograph as the icon for one of its "Apps."
  • Represented a major drug manufacturer and its advertising agency in a defamation and right of publicity action in which the plaintiff, a model, alleged that her picture (along with a fictional biography) was used without her consent in advertising to promote a drug used to treat HIV.
  • Advised a national advertising agency on the development and execution of a complex campaign involving user-generated content and social networking platforms.
  • Represented a major fashion company in a talent agreement for the use of talent's image in a worldwide advertising campaign.
  • Negotiated a television distribution agreement on behalf of a leading content provider.
  • Structured and negotiated a deal for the acquisition of numerous domain names allowing the client to launch a new branding campaign and product.
  • Advised a leading advertising agency on a viral campaign involving significant copyright and parody issues.
  • Successfully represented a national advertising agency in defeating a copyright claim brought by a leading artist who claimed that an advertising campaign infringed his copyright rights in a series of photographs.
  • Advised a major apparel company on issues involving FTC endorsement guidelines and bloggers.
  • Represented a leading advertising agency and its client in a complex copyright and misappropriation of idea dispute brought by a freelance art director.
  • Successfully represented a television production company in a dispute alleging misappropriation of idea and breach of contract in connection with two episodes of a television show.
  • Successfully represented a major wireless company in a proceeding before the NAD.
  • Successfully defended a premier consumer products company and global advertising agency against copyright infringement and misappropriation of idea claims brought by a filmmaker in connection with an advertising and marketing campaign.
  • Successfully represented a prominent composer in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Universal Music, Dr. Dre and Eminem concerning a track on The Marshall Mathers LP.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an independent advertising agency dismissing copyright and misappropriation of idea claims concerning national advertising campaign.
  • Successfully dismissed a copyright and trademark suit against a leading worldwide advertising agency and its client involving the display of an artist's mural in a television commercial based on demonstrating that defendants used only minor portion of the mural and that plaintiff's work did not function as a trademark.
  • Successfully prosecuted trademark infringement action on behalf of book publisher in which the publisher of a competing line of books agreed to change the name of its line of publications.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

"Media Trends Communications Summit," Young Jewish Professionals, June 15, 2011

“Post-Mortem Right of Publicity: Return of the Living Dead?,” New York State Bar Association, January 2008

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Expert Q&A on Right of Publicity Claims," Practical Law, April/May 2017

Co-Author, "New Copyright Office Regulations Require Websites to Re-Register for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection," D&G Intellectual Property Alert, December 2016

Co-Author, "Michael Jordan Scores on Appeal in Lawsuit Over Congratulatory Ad," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, March 2014

Co-Author, "Post-Mortem Right of Publicity under New Jersey Law Is Limited to 50 Years," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, December 2012

Co-Author, "Court Finds Press Release Was a “Commercial Use” in Right of Publicity Case," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, October 2012

Co-Author, "Court Rejects Federal Criminal Charges against Host of High-Stakes Poker Games," D&G Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Alert, September 2012

Co-Author, “Avoiding Costly Mistakes: How to Copy 'Right' and How Not to Copy 'Wrong',” The Firm Voice, June 4, 2008

Author, “Death Pays: The Fight Over Marilyn Monroe’s Right of Publicity,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, July 2007

Co-Author, “Even O. J. Simpson Should Keep His Publicity Rights,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, September 13, 2006

Co-Author, “Court Delivers Bitter Result To Coffee Company In Right Of Publicity CaseThe Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2005

Co-Author, “Punitive Damages Available for Infringement?,” New York Law Journal, January 24, 2005

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS

New York City Bar Association, Copyright and Literary Property Committee
International Trademark Association

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York

EDUCATION

Boston University, J.D., 1993
Barnard College, B.A., cum laude, 1990