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Advanced Copyright Law 2019: Current Issues


Speaker(s): Jessica R. Friedman, Joshua L. Simmons, Lateef Mtima, Linda Steinman, Nancy J. Mertzel, Theodore K. Cheng
Recorded on: Mar. 14, 2019
PLI Program #: 251344

Jessica R. Friedman (Yale Law School 1984, Princeton University 1981) has practiced copyright, trademark, literary property/media and licensing law in New York City for 30 years. Among the matters Ms. Friedman handles are content, data and software development and licensing agreements, publishing agreements for authors and publishers, collaboration agreements, literary agency agreements, media agency agreements, MSA’s and other commercial contracts, as well as online and mobile app privacy policies and terms of use. She also conducts fair use and work-for-hire analyses, domestic and international trademark clearance/prosecution/licensing/policing, and prepublication reviews of manuscripts for libel and other legal issues, and she handles other matters related to the rights of privacy and publicity. In an earlier life as a litigation associate, she represented clients in copyright infringement litigation, and for 14 years, she served as part-time general counsel to a healthcare communications company.

Ms. Friedman has written many articles about intellectual property, publishing and media issues, and she has lectured about and chaired panels on those subjects in various venues, including PLI, the New York City Bar Association, and the New York Technology Council (formerly the New York Software Industry Association). Currently, she is a member of the Copyright and Literary Property Committee of the New York City Bar Association, having already served several terms on that committee and on the Trademark Committee.

Ms. Friedman has an AV® Preeminent™  Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating (5.0 out of 5), which means that she has been acknowledged by her peers as having  the highest ethical standards and legal ability. She also has been selected as a New York Super Lawyer™ every year since 2010.

More information about Ms. Friedman’s practice is available at www.literarypropertylaw.com.


Joshua Simmons is recognized as a “Next Generation Lawyer” (Legal 500) and focuses his practice on appellate and trial court litigation and counseling, as well as regulatory and legislative policy.  This “exceptional” (Chambers), “Top Attorney” (Law360), and “big-picture thought leader” (WTR) litigates copyright, patent, right of publicity, trademark, and trade secret cases—particularly complex cases and those of first impression—along with contract, licensing, and domain name disputes.  He also advises on IP matters that intersect with antitrust, fraud, false advertising, privacy, and social media.

Josh routinely is recognized for his high-profile intellectual property, media, entertainment, and technology representations. Chambers and Partners ranked Josh for his copyright, trademark, and trade secret practices, describing his “notable expertise in advising entertainment and technology sector clients” and reporting client comments that “he is completely on top of cases at all times,” “knows exactly what is happening,” and “has a 360 degree view of the entire litigation.” World Trademark Review ranked him for trademark enforcement and litigation, with clients attesting to him being a “tremendous asset” who combines “elite legal acumen with a unique understanding of the process of creating entertainment.” Legal 500 recognized Josh for his copyright, trademark litigation, trade secrets, and media and entertainment practices. Best Lawyers in America selected Josh for his work in copyright law. Law360 and Super Lawyers named Josh a “Rising Star” in media and entertainment and intellectual property litigation, respectively. And Josh was part of the Kirkland team Managing Intellectual Property honored for “Milestone Case of the Year” Oracle v. Google.

In addition to maintaining a full-time litigation practice, Josh is a frequent speaker and has authored numerous articles on emerging trends in intellectual property.  He also is an active member of the intellectual property bar:

  • At the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section, he chairs its Copyright Law Reform Task Force, serves on its governing Council, and is a Council Liaison to its Copyright Division.
  • He is Vice Chair of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Software Related Inventions Committee, and its liaison to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Copyright project.
  • He chairs the Copyright Society’s Media Library Committee.
  • He is a member of the Board of Advisors to Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts.

He received a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was awarded the Carroll G. Harper Prize for achievement in intellectual property, and a B.A. from Brandeis University.


Lateef Mtima is a Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law. After graduating with honors from Amherst College, Professor Mtima received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he was the co-founder and later editor-in-chief of the Harvard BlackLetter Journal. He is admitted to the New York and Pennsylvania bars and has practiced intellectual property, bankruptcy, and commercial law, including a decade in private practice with the international law firm of Coudert Brothers. Currently a member of the Advisory Council for the United States Court of Federal Claims and the BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal Advisory Board, Professor Mtima has held the post of Distinguished Libra Visiting Scholar in Residence at the University of Maine School of Law, is a past President of the Giles S. Rich Inn of Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was a member of the founding Editorial Board for the American Bar Association intellectual property periodical Landslide. Professor Mtima is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, an accredited Non-governmental Organization Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Linda Steinman has more than 30 years of litigation and counseling experience in media and intellectual property law, and First Amendment law.  She represents a wide range of clients in media and the arts, including book publishers, television production companies, networks and new media, including in various different types of copyright matters.

Sample Copyright Experience In Complex “Transformative Use” Cases   

Authors Guild v. Google, Inc.
Submitted amicus curiae briefs on behalf of The Copyright Alliance in the Second Circuit and in support of Petition for Certiorari, addressing proper transformative use analysis for copyright infringement case based on mass digitization of books. 

Fox v. TV Eyes
Submitted amicus curiae briefs in Second Circuit and district court on behalf of several television networks in copyright infringement case against aggregator of television clips.

Associated Press v. Meltwater U.S. Holdings, Inc., et al.
Represented The Associated Press in a copyright infringement action against Meltwater News, leading subscription-based electronic media monitoring service that provides daily excerpts from news articles to its subscribers. In  precedent setting decision, Southern District of New York granted AP’s motion for summary judgment on its copyright claim and rejected Meltwater’s fair use defense, which was premised on its argument that it acted as a search engine. 

Association of American University Presses
Regular outside counsel to trade association for university and scholarly presses, including submission of amicus briefs in Cambridge University Press v. Patton (case against Georgia State University involving e-reserves) and as class member in Google Books litigation.

Other clients: Counselling advice to Getty Images, the Newspaper Association of America, and The New York Times on complex copyright issues. 

Named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in Copyright Law by Best Lawyers, 2017; named as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in First Amendment Litigation by Chambers USA, 2015-18.


Nancy Mertzel has more than 25 years of experience protecting brand names, products, content and technology.

She has litigated numerous copyright, trademark, trade dress, unfair competition and trade secret disputes. She has an affinity for matters involving source code and technology, and has successfully handled cutting edge cases involving the scope of copyright protection in source code and data.  For example, she successfully defended a claim of copyright in numbers in BanxCorp v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 978 F.Supp.2d 280 (2013).  She also handles trademark infringement cases, disputes between developers and licensees, trade secret cases involving software, entertainment industry disputes, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board disputes, and recovery of domain names.

On the transactional side, Nancy handles trademark clearance, prosecution and portfolio management, and drafts a wide variety of agreements including copyright and trademark licenses, software licenses and software development agreements and end user license agreements. She also advises clients on copyright issues including the scope of protection in data, fair use and infringement.

Nancy is an active member of the bar and a frequent speaker and author.   She recently completed a term as a board member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and has served as an officer of the Copyright Society of the USA. 

As part of her bar work for AIPLA, on February 26, 2015, Nancy testified before the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on “The U.S. Copyright Office: Its Functions and Resources.”  Nancy also wrote AIPLA’s U.S. Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which involved laches in copyright infringement cases, SCA Hygiene Products A.G. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, which involved laches in patent cases, and B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., which involved the preclusive effect of decisions by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on subsequent litigation.

In 2016 and 2017, World Trademark Review named Nancy a leading lawyer for enforcement and litigation, calling her a “well-spoken and zealous advocate” who “handles the whole nine yards of brand development and enforcement.”  Since 2009, Nancy has been named one of Thompson Reuters' New York Super Lawyers for Intellectual Property Litigation, as well as one of the publication's top 50 NY women attorneys (2013-2017).

Nancy is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law (J.D.) and the University of Rochester (B.A.)


Theo K. Cheng is an independent, full-time arbitrator and mediator, focusing on commercial, intellectual property (IP), technology, entertainment, and labor/employment disputes. He has conducted over 500 arbitrations and mediations, including business disputes, breach of contract and negligence actions, trade secret theft, employment discrimination claims, wage-and-hour disputes, and IP infringement contentions. Theo has been appointed to the rosters of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the CPR Institute, Resolute Systems, and the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center’s List of the World’s Leading Technology Neutrals. He serves on the AAA’s Council, and he is also the President of the Justice Marie L. Garibaldi American Inn of Court for ADR, the Chair of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Dispute Resolution Section, and the Secretary of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. He was also inducted into the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. The National Law Journal named him a 2017 ADR Champion.

Theo has over 20 years of experience as an IP and general commercial litigator with a focus on trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. He has handled a broad array of business disputes and counseled high net-worth individuals and small to middle-market business entities in industries as varied as high-tech, telecommunications, entertainment, consumer products, fashion, food and hospitality, retail, and financial services. In 2007, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association named him one of the Best Lawyers Under 40.

Theo received his A.B. cum laude in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Moot Court Board. He was a senior litigator at several prominent national law firms, including Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP, and Loeb & Loeb LLP. He was also a marketing consultant in the brokerage operations of MetLife Insurance Company, where he held Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations and a Series 7 General Securities Representative registration. Theo began his legal career serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Theo frequently writes and speaks on ADR and intellectual property issues. He has a regular column called Resolution Alley in the NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Journal, which addresses the use of ADR in those industries. He also writes the The ADR Mosaic in the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Diversity & the Bar Magazine, which addresses ADR and diversity issues.