Attorney Advisor for Policy and International Affairs
United States Copyright Office
Aaron Watson has worked in the U.S. Copyright Office since 2009 and is currently working as an Attorney Advisor for the Office of Registration Policy and Practice in the U.S. Copyright Office. He previously worked as an Attorney Advisor for The Office of Policy and International Affairs. Before that, Aaron worked for several years as a Copyright Examiner in the Office’s copyright registration program, where he examined hundreds of copyright registration applications as part of the performing arts and motion picture teams. Aaron earned a J.D. from the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island in 2008. He also holds a B.M. in music performance from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, California, and a Master’s degree in music performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied double bass. Before coming to the Copyright Office, Aaron worked as a municipal law clerk for the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Aaron worked as a freelance musician and teacher before studying law.
Dale Cendali is a nationally recognized leader in the field of intellectual property litigation, having successfully litigated and tried numerous high-profile cases, and having argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Her practice encompasses copyright, trademark, false advertising, patent, Internet, and trade secrets law, as well as defamation, the right of publicity, privacy, complex contract disputes and similar areas, including electronic discovery. Dale heads Kirkland’s Copyright, Trademark, Internet and Advertising practice group.
In 2017, Dale was named “Outstanding Litigator: New York” at Managing IP’sNorth AmericaAwards. In 2016, Law360 named Dale one of the 25 “Icons of IP,” who have “made an indelible mark in the IP area.” In 2013, The National Law Journal selected Dale as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” The National Law Journal had previously named her one of “America’s Top 50 Women Litigators,” one of the “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America,” and one of “The Most Influential Lawyers” for media and entertainment. Dale has repeatedly been ranked as a “top tier” lawyer by Chambers Global and Chambers USA, which describes her as “one of the best lawyers in the country” in her field who combines “intellectual acuity” with a “tough, hard-working attitude”; a “superb litigator” who “thinks quickly on her feet and vigorously defends her clients.” The World Trademark Review recognized Dale as a “Trademark Experts’ Expert,” “at the top of anybody’s list of the best trademark lawyers in the country”. Euromoney Legal Media Group also named Dale as “Best in Copyright [in] the Americas” at its inaugural Americas Women in Business Law Awards in 2012 and in 2013, and in 2014 was awarded “Best in Trademark [in] the Americas.” Dale also was included in Euromoney’s Benchmark guide, “The Top 250 Women in Litigation.” Dale was also selected as one of the “20 Most Influential Women in IP Law” by Law360.Managing Intellectual Property selected Dale as one of the six “Outstanding IP Practitioners” in the United States, and named her trial victory for J.K. Rowling on the high-profile “Lexicon” fair use case as the “Copyright Trial of the Year.” IP Stars has named Dale one of the “Top 10 Women in IP.” Dale was listed as one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 guides. The Legal 500 U.S. recognized Dale as a “leading lawyer” in the areas of copyright and trademark litigation. IP Law & Business recognized her as one of the “Magnificent Seven - IP’s Best Young Trial Lawyers.” Dale was selected for the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Copyright Law and Litigation – Intellectual Property. In 2016, she was selected as Litigation – Intellectual Property “Lawyer of the Year.” She also has repeatedly been named by Super Lawyers among “The Top 100 New York Lawyers” and “The Top 50 Female New York Lawyers,” and was profiled in the feature story “Truth, Justice and the Cendali Way” in the 2007 New York Metro edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. World Trademark Review named Dale a “revered branding expert” who “remains keenly engaged in the development of the law.” Dale has been recognized by the Harvard Law Bulletin as one of Harvard Law School’s “Nifty 50,” celebrating 50 of Harvard Law School’s alumnae. Dale was also selected as a litigation star in the 2013 edition of Benchmark Appellate. Kirkland was named by Managing Intellectual Property in 2014 as “Trademark Contentious Firm of the Year-Nationwide.”
Dale is also an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, teaching copyright and trademark litigation. She is also a prolific writer and has long been active in the bar. In 2010, INTA elected Dale to serve as Counsel, the highest-ranking position in the organization for an outside counsel. She also previously chaired INTA’s Dilution and Enforcement Committees, and is the current chair of INTA’s inaugural Copyright Committee.
Dale was also the Vice Chair of the Copyright Division and chair of the IP Special Issues Division for the IP Section of the ABA, and currently serves on Council for the ABA IP Section. Among many other positions in the bar, Dale is also the former Chair of the Trademarks and Unfair Competition Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. In 2015 Dale was selected as an Adviser for The American Law Institute’s project, Restatement of the Law, Copyright.
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1984
Editor-in-Chief, The Harvard Journal on Legislation, 1983–1984
Yale University, B.A., 1981
summa cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions & Qualifications
1985, New York
Deirdre Merrill is the Director of Contracts at Chronicle Books LLC in San Francisco, California. One of the most admired and respected independent publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. The company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes much admired illustrated books and gift products in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle, pop culture, and acclaimed children’s titles. Chronicle Books’ objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that’s instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value.
In her work at Chronicle Books over the last 17 years, Ms. Merrill’s primary focus has been drafting, negotiating, and maintaining copyright license agreements between the publishing house and authors, photographers, illustrators, and licensors, along with their respective agents and attorneys. Her role includes negotiating and securing of digital rights for both backlist and front list titles published by Chronicle Books. In addition she supervises the contracts and permissions department, helps to maintain the company’s trademark portfolio, advises the subsidiary rights licensing division and custom publishing departments, and supervises copyright registration for all titles published by Chronicle Books.
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1999
B.A, Santa Clara University, 1995
Member, California State Bar Association, 2000-present
Member, The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California
Sophie Cohen is a Senior Corporate Counsel on the Marketing Legal team at Symantec Corporation, supporting the LifeLock and Norton consumer brands. Her work has involved a wide range of advertising and intellectual property matters, including reviewing marketing collateral for compliance (print, online, social media, TV, radio etc.), and collaborating with internal teams and outside agencies on advertising campaigns, social media initiatives, affiliate marketing, “truth in advertising” issues, FTC compliance, claims substantiation, talent agreements, celebrity rights, trademark and copyright issues, and the use of customer testimonials/reviews.
Prior to joining Symantec, Ms. Cohen was a partner at the intellectual property law firm Cobalt LLP in Berkeley, where she advised clients on all aspects of trademark clearance, prosecution and enforcement, domain name disputes, advertising law, licensing and co-branding, as well as software and technology agreements. She worked with clients on cutting-edge copyright matters, such as thorny copyright registrations, source code protection, emerging technologies, innovative business models, fair use, user generated content, fan communities, scraping, DMCA, and work-made-for-hire issues. Ms. Cohen also has extensive experience in promotions law, including sweepstakes, contests and raffles, with a special expertise in the fields of commercial co-venturing and cause marketing.
Ms. Cohen is a member of the California and New York State Bars. She graduated from the Sorbonne (Paris) and the U.C. Davis School of Law.
She currently serves as an Advisor to the Executive Committee of the California Lawyers Association Intellectual Property Law Section (formerly, State Bar of California), as well as Chair of their In-House Interest Group, planning CLE programs and networking activities. She is a member of the ABA-IPL Copyright Division and the Copyright Society of the USA.
Ms. Cohen loves travelling to explore great wines, foods and art. She’s also a proud sci-fi geek.
Ms. Gray focuses her practice on intellectual property (including copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets) and commercial litigation, prosecution and counseling. She has managed complex cases in all phases of litigation, from prelitigation counseling through appellate review. Her extensive copyright experience includes representing a magazine publisher in a series of cutting-edge lawsuits at the intersection of traditional print media and emerging electronic technologies which ultimately established the publisher’s right to reproduce its flagship magazine in electronic format (see, e.g., Faulkner, et al. v. National Geographic Society, et al., 294 F. Supp. 2d 523 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); aff’d, 409 F.3d 26 (2d Cir. 2005)).
Ms. Gray is the current Vice President and President-Elect of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. She authors the copyright and trademark blog Shades of Gray®, www.shadesofgraylaw.com.
Corynne McSherry is the Legal Director at EFF, specializing in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues. Her favorite cases involve defending online fair use, political expression, and the public domain against the assault of copyright maximalists. As a litigator, she has represented Professor Lawrence Lessig, Public.Resource.Org, the Yes Men, and a dancing baby, among others, and one of her first cases at EFF was In re Sony BMG CD Technologies Litigation (aka the "rootkit" case). In 2015 she was named one of California's Top Entertainment Lawyers. She was also named AmLaw's "Litigator of the Week" for her work on Lenz v. Universal. Her policy work includes leading EFF’s effort to fix copyright (including the successful effort to shut down the Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA), promote net neutrality, and promote best practices for online expression. In 2014, she testified before Congress about problems with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Corynne comments regularly on digital rights issues and has been quoted in a variety of outlets, including NPR, CBS News, Fox News, the New York Times, Billboard, the Wall Street Journal, and Rolling Stone. Prior to joining EFF, Corynne was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP. Corynne has a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Ph.D from the University of California at San Diego, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. While in law school, Corynne published Who Owns Academic Work?: Battling for Control of Intellectual Property (Harvard University Press, 2001).