Tom practices in the areas of copyright, right of publicity and trademark law.
He represents companies large and small in copyright licensing and other transactions, litigation and enforcement matters.
Tom asserts and defends against copyright infringement claims by photographers, fine artists and composers.
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 speaks and writes frequently on copyright and related issues, and for many years has been 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. He also is co-author of the Copyright Law columns regularly published in the New York Law Journal, a list of which you can find here.
He was awarded First Place in the Nathan Burkan Memorial Writing Competition sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
“What you don’t play can be more important than what you do.”-Thelonious Monk
Honors & Recognitions
- Named in The Best Lawyers in America - Copyright Law (2013 - 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 Chair
- Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman Hosts Association of Corporate Counsel Musical CLE Program at the Legendary Bitter End on Bleeker Street11.04.2022
- Legal 500 United States 2015 again recommends CLL as a National Top Tier Firm in the field of Copyright Law06.04.2015
- The Bitter End, 147 Bleeker Street, New York, NY (between Laguardia and Thompson), 11.03.2022
- Thomas Kjellberg and Dasha Chestukhin Will Speak At An ACC Webinar About Recent Copyright Cases In-House Counsel Should Know About11.04.2021
- The Bitter End, Bleecker Street, NYC, 11.07.2018
- Kieran Doyle will give an ACC presentation: "McCartney on Trademarks ... and Lennon Too: Key Trademark Concepts Explained Through Beatles Songs"The Bitter End, Bleecker Street, NYC, 11.07.2017
- PLI New York Center, 06.29.2017
- Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540, 12.04.2013
- Copyright Developments, 12.04.2019
- On My Mind Blog, 02.23.2016
- On My Mind Blog, 02.24.2015
- Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., 137 S. Ct. 1002 (2017). 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, and 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.
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