The firm’s principal, Henry Kaufman, has been active in IP matters, including significant IP litigations, since the earliest years of his professional career.
Mr. Kaufman’s first appellate argument was in a tradename infringement case, Berlitz Publications, Inc. v. Berlitz, 45 A.D.2d 826 (1st Dept. 1974), aff’d, 38 N.Y.2d 878 (N.Y. 1975).
Mr. Kaufman has also been active for nearly as long in copyright matters and litigation. As General Counsel of the Association of American Publishers he was involved in the final stages of passage and then in the early stages of implementation of the Copyright Reform Act of 1976. While at AAP he led development of the book publishing industry’s initial, successful copyright infringement litigation claims against commercial photocopying shops. See, e.g., Basic Books, Inc. v. Gnomon Corp., 1980 WL 1157 (D. Conn. 1980) (Order and Final Judgment). He also assisted in the formation and initial legal structuring of the Copyright Clearance Center, the publishing industry’s copyright licensing system that over the past decade has paid out over $1 billion dollars in rights licensing fees.
While serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of SESAC, Mr. Kaufman was responsible for all legal aspects of the Company’s copyright licensing and copyright litigation. He developed and initiated SESAC’s first copyright infringement action based on digital detections of unlicensed radio plays of SESAC affiliated copyrights. See SESAC, Inc. v. WPNT, Inc. 327 F.Supp. 3d 531 (W.D. Pa 2003) (affirming subsequent, precedent-setting, $1 million-plus statutory damage award). Mr. Kaufman was also active on SESAC’s behalf in Copyright Office rate arbitrations and in connection with Congressional consideration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the so-called Fairness in Music Licensing Act.
To this day Mr. Kaufman remains active in copyright matters and litigation. Most recently, the firm defended and successfully resolved a copyright infringement action on behalf of a leading music company in the Southern District of New York.
See also Notable Developments/ Intellectual Property Litigation for recent firm activities in this area.