Tom practices in the areas of copyright, right of publicity and trademark law. Tom has represented companies large and small in copyright licensing, litigation and enforcement matters. Tom speaks and writes frequently on copyright and related issues, and is the chief author of the annual review of copyright decisions published each year in the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA and delivered at the Copyright Society’s annual meeting. Tom is a past Trustee of the Society.
Significant cases include Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica LLC, 799 F.3d 468 (6th Cir. 2015) (cert. granted 2016) (concerning the copyrightability of two-dimensional artwork applied to useful articles); Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. American Buddha, 609 F.3d 30 (2d Cir. 2010), 16 N.Y.3d 295 (2011) (on certified question), 640 F. 3d 497 (2d Cir. 2011) (concerning New York long-arm jurisdiction in copyright infringement cases involving copyrighted literary works on the Internet); Figure Eight Holdings, LLC v. Dr. Jay’s, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107140 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2011) (obtaining grant of summary judgment of non-infringement of visual artwork for defendants), 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134089 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2011) (obtaining award of attorneys’ fees for prevailing defendants); Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 448 F.3d 605 (2d Cir. 2006) (affirming summary judgment for defendant publisher that “thumbnail” reproductions of seven concert posters in Grateful Dead biography are transformative fair use); Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. Thomas Steinbeck and Blake Smyle, 537 F.3d 193 (2d Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 2383 (2009) (obtaining appellate reversal that invalidated the attempt by John Steinbeck’s son and granddaughter to terminate Penguin’s publishing agreement under Section 304(d) of the Copyright Act, and upheld Penguin’s right to continue publishing The Grapes of Wrath and other Steinbeck works for their full copyright terms); Hudson v. Universal Studios, Inc., 369 Fed. Appx. 291 (2d Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 1027 (2011) (affirming grant of summary judgment for defendant creators that Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence film Life did not infringe copyright in plaintiff’s play). Tom has participated in the drafting of amicus curiae briefs on behalf of organizations including the RIAA, the MPAA and Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Tom earned his J.D. in 1998 from Fordham Law School, where he was awarded First Place in the Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He is admitted to the bars of the State of New York, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second, Sixth and Ninth Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Honors & Recognitions
- Named in The Best Lawyers in America - Copyright Law (2012 - present)
- Named in The Legal 500 -Intellectual Property - Trademarks, Litigation (2011 - present)
- Named in The Legal 500 -Intellectual Property - Copyright (2011 - present)
Community & Professional Activities
- Adjunct Assistant Professor (Copyright Law), New York University
- School of Professional Studies (2002-2015)
- American Bar Association - Copyright Office Affairs Committee
- Legal 500 United States 2015 again recommends CLL as a National Top Tier Firm in the field of Copyright Law06.04.2015
- On My Mind Blog, 02.23.2016
- On My Mind Blog, 02.24.2015
Fordham University School of Law (JD 1998)
Wayne State University (BFA 1975)
- New York
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York