Michael K. Cantwell

Of Counsel
Media and Intellectual Property Law

Michael K. Cantwell


Prior to establishing a solo practice in 2005, Mr. Cantwell worked as an intellectual property and media attorney for twelve years. In addition to his solo practice, Mr. Cantwell is also Of Counsel to Henry R. Kaufman, P.C., where he focuses on media and intellectual property law, with a concentration on trademark and publishing law.

Between 2001 and 2005, Mr. Cantwell was an intellectual property attorney in the New York office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, concentrating on trademark, copyright and publishing law. In that capacity, Mr. Cantwell counseled clients on the protection and enforcement of their intellectual property assets and drafted and negotiated trademark and technology licenses and consulting, publishing, security, technology escrow, and website development and hosting agreements. He also regularly advised corporate attorneys and clients on intellectual property matters related to corporate transactions, including the interplay between intellectual property and bankruptcy law. Between 1998 and 2001, Mr. Cantwell served in a similar capacity in the New York office of Dewey Ballantine, LLP.

Mr. Cantwell began his legal career working in the media and publishing law practice of Henry R. Kaufman and for the Libel Defense Resource Center (n.k.a. the Media Law Resource Center), for which Mr. Kaufman served as General Counsel and Mr. Cantwell served as Associate General Counsel.

Prior to entering law school, Mr. Cantwell had more than 14 years’ business experience developing, managing and publishing scientific journals for Elsevier Science Publishing Co. (n.k.a. Reed-Elsevier) and the American Institute of Physics. Mr. Cantwell has a Masters degree in intellectual property law from New York University and a JD from St. John’s University.

Mr. Cantwell has served as a member of various committees of the New York City Bar Association, including the Trademark and Unfair Competition Committee (2006-2009 and 2012-2014), the Copyright & Literary Property Committee (2009-2012), and the Information Technology Law Committees (2003-2006). He also previously served on the editorial board of The Trademark Reporter, the official journal of the International Trademark Association. He has published widely in the areas of intellectual property, media and civil rights law.

  • New York University School of Law, LL.M., Trade Regulation/Intellectual Property, 1997
  • St. John’s University School of Law, J.D., 1993
  • New York University, M.A., English Literature, 1978
  • City University of New York, B.A., Mathematics, 1976
  • “Confusion, Dilution and Speech: First Amendment Limitations on the Trademark Estate: An Update,” The Trademark Reporter (May/June 2004)
  • “Linking and Framing on the Internet: Recent Developments and the Boundaries of Fair Use,” Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA (Summer 2002)
  • “Exploring the Boundaries of Coexisting Trademarks,” New York Law Journal (January 15, 1999) (co-author)
  • “Confusion, Dilution, and Speech: First Amendment Limitations on the Trademark Estate,” The Trademark Reporter (January/February 1997)
  • “‘Constitutional’ Torts and the Due Process Clause,” Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review (Fall 1995)
  • “Reflections on the New ALI Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition,” National Law Journal (February 1995) (co-author)
  • “Moldea II: Are Book Reviews Protected?” Publisher’s Weekly (October 1994) (co-author)
  • “Potential Impact of the Uniform Correction or Clarification of Defamation Act on Damages,” LDRC Bulletin (July 1994) (co-author)
  • “Breathing Space” in the “Two-Live Crew” Case, National Law Journal (May 1994) (co-author)