Intellectual Property

Intellectual property involves patents, trademarkscopyrightsrights of publicity, defamationtrade secrets, and Cyberlaw

Attorney Michael A. Long has handled disputes involving intellectual property disputes no behalf of, involving or adverse to high profile IP holders.

Patents protect new, useful, and non-obvious inventions for a limited term and require disclosure.

Mr. Long has successfully prosecuted and enforced patents.  Mr. Long is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  Mr. Long’s legal work in patent matters spans gaming, entertainment, mechno-electrical, as well as biotech patent litigation.  Mr. Long’s patent litigation experience includes seven-figure dispute which was resolved in client’s favor. 

Copyrights protect creative or artistic works of expression. Copyrighted works are non-functional in nature, and the right is instantiated as soon as the work is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” – not upon registration. This form of intellectual property applies often to writers, filmmakers of all kinds, musicians, and visual artists.

Mr. Long has performed copyright clearance and chain of title analysis for copyrighted works, clearance re: celebrities for use or non-use in motion pictures, marketing materials, photographic works, compilations, and a wide range of online content.   Mr. Long has successfully enforced highly valuable copyrights, trademarks and patents in the market against third party infringers; and has also conversely protected accused clients against specious claims of infringement of the same forms of intellectual property.   Mr. Long has successfully prepared and filed copyright applications resulting in registration.  Mr. Long regularly advises artists and creatives regarding copyright issues concerning ownership, protection, licensing, and disputes.

Rights of publicity (RoP) involve famous living peoples’ likeness or appearance, which are based on state law. RoP is a form of intellectual property that protects against use of likeness, including their photo, signature, or even similar “likeness” of the famous person.

In prior litigation, Mr. Long contributed to a successful appeal in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (CA2) overturning an adverse decision in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.) involving Marilyn Monroe’s photographer and right of publicity concerning photos of the now-deceased star resulting in prevailing on appeal.  Mr. Long is experienced with contracts and licenses concerning rights of publicity, with litigation and appellate experience.

Trademarks protect the source identifier in association with certain goods and/or services. 

Mr. Long has managed large international intellectual property portfolios in Europe, China, Japan, Canada, and Mexico, working with local attorneys in various regions and countries throughout the world.

Mr. Long had successfully enforced marks before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTAB) in numerous trademark opposition proceedings involving high-profile trademarks.  Mr. Long has also successfully drafted, prosecuted trademark applications to registration, including assignments of trademark rights, and settlement agreements concerning trademarks. Mr. Long has also litigated trademarks and related insurance coverage disputes to favorable outcomes. Mr. Long is also experienced in monitoring and enforcing trademarks to seek to clear the registry for clients’ marks, which helps protect the trademark owner from impingement.

Trade Secrets require appropriate reasonable security measures must be taken to keep them secret. What is “reasonable” can vary from case to case. Properly trade secret rights can potentially last indefinitely.

Mr. Long has advised clients on trade secret strategies as well as prosecuting patent applications.  Mr. Long has experience in trade secret litigation concerning alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.  Mr. Long has assisted clients to analyze and protect trade secrets without requiring disclosure of said trade secrets.

Defamation includes actions for libel (written defamation) or slander (spoken defamation). Truth is an absolute defense to defamation.  Certain categories are considered so damaging that they do not require proof of damage, such as criminal conduct, business defamation on one’s trade or profession, or having a loathsome disease. 

Mr. Long has assisted clients in navigating issues of highly contested business defamation and non-business defamation.

Cyberlaw is a collection of rights involving rights of privacy, rights against retribution by distribution of sexually explicit content (revenge p07n), defamation, copyright, and First Amendment Rights.

Mr. Long has experience with CCPA/CPRA, GDPR and privacy tort issues; controversial privacy intrusions; privacy torts; unauthorized use of computers; and has assisted clients with legal rights and remedies concerning privacy disputes including under Civil Code 1708.85 for invasion of privacy.

First Amendment Rights includes certain freedoms of expression (against specific censorship), association, and religion. Certain speech is not protected, such as “fighting words” such as racist remarks, or crying “fire” – for example, citing imminent harm or danger to others in a crowded theater. Advertising is considered a form of protected commercial speech but is limited – protected commercial speech does not include: obscenity (“know it when you see it”), fighting words (e.g. racist remarks), defamatory speech, perjury, blackmail, incitement to imminent lawless action, and true threats.

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decided Murthy v. Missouri, 603 U. S. __ (June 26, 2024) which held that social influencers suing the government did not have standing to seek an injunction where the platforms (e.g. Facebook / Meta et al.) were the ones who took action against the plaintiffs. Justice Barrett delivered the majority opinion. SCOTUS noted that the Fifth Circuit erred “[B]y attributing every platform decision at least in part to the defendants, glossed over complexities in the evidence. The Fifth Circuit also erred by treating the defendants, plaintiffs, and platforms each as a unified whole. Because “standing is not dispensed in gross,” TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, 594 U. S. 413, 431, “plaintiffs must demonstrate standing for each claim they press” against each defendant, “and for each form of relief they seek,” ibid. This requires a threshold showing that a particular defendant pressured a particular platform to censor a particular topic before that platform suppressed a particular plaintiff’s speech on that topic. Complicating the plaintiffs’ effort to demonstrate that each platform acted due to Government coercion, rather than its own judgment, is the fact that the platforms began to suppress the plaintiffs’ COVID–19 content before the defendants’ challenged communications started.” Justice Alito dissented, noting the government’s “unrelenting pressure” on the platforms and wrote, “Government efforts to “dictat[e] the subjects about which persons may speak,” First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U. S. 765, 784–785 (1978), or to suppress protected speech are “‘presumptively unconstitutional,’” Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of Univ. of Va., 515 U. S. 819, 830 (1995).”

Mr. Long represented a client in a misleading speech case to successful outcome, resulting in an order barring false or misleading statements and favorable settlement.

Mr. Long represented a client in an election to successfully obtain an injunction barring false or misleading speech.

Managing Attorney Michael A. Long has represented a wide range of clients in civil litigation. His clients have included attorneys, executives, business owners, real estate investors and developers, producers, tech companies, inventors, artists, insureds, and established multinationals with worldwide portfolios. [more…]