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Guy Cohen is a partner in Davis & Gilbert’s Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment and Litigation Practice Groups. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with more than 25 years of diverse commercial litigation experience in a number of areas, including:

  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Restrictive Covenant and Employment-Related Disputes
  • Contract Disputes and Business Torts

Mr. Cohen brings a broad perspective to his clients, having represented companies of all sizes, as well as both individual plaintiffs and defendants, in a wide variety of cases. He has successfully represented many major corporations and marketing communications firms in intellectual property disputes, and he has also prosecuted high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits on behalf of individual plaintiffs. Mr. Cohen has successfully represented global companies in trade secret litigation, and he has defended employees accused of violating post-employment restrictive covenants. In addition to obtaining dismissals and favorable settlements before trial, he has won defendants’ verdicts in many employment discrimination cases, and has obtained significant awards at trial and in arbitration arising from agency-client contracts, exclusive distribution agreements, executive employment contracts, attorney-client relationships, and lease disputes. Mr. Cohen has guided numerous owners of closely held corporations through internal disputes with co-owners involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and related business torts. He also regularly counsels his clients on a range of employment, intellectual property, advertising, and contractual issues.

Mr. Cohen has been recognized in The Legal 500 United States (2014-2019) in the area of intellectual property: copyright, where he has been noted for his strength in intellectual property litigation. He has also been selected as a Super Lawyer by New York Metro Super Lawyers from 2013-2018.

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Intellectual Property:

  • Successfully represented many major global businesses, including Mars, AT&T, Coca-Cola, IBM, Tommy Hilfiger, Hyundai, Pfizer, AOL, Procter & Gamble, BBDO Worldwide, Wieden + Kennedy, Grey Worldwide, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Omnicom Media Group in copyright, trademark, and right-of-publicity disputes arising out of commercials and other marketing materials.
  • Successfully defended Brainjolt, an online viral content company, in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a competitor concerning short articles and “listicles” posted on Brainjolt’s websites.
  • Successfully represented Jinno International Co., a South Korea-based supplier of fabrics to the apparel industry, in a trademark and copyright infringement action against its U.S.-based sales agent over use of its trademarks and ownership of fabric designs created on its behalf.
  • Represented TED Conferences in all intellectual property matters, including disputes over infringement of its “TED” and “TED Talks” trademarks.
  • Represented Facebook and Wieden + Kennedy in a high-profile case brought by Eminem’s publishing company alleging that a musical phrase in a Facebook commercial infringed its copyright in the composition Under the Influence.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a copyright infringement suit against a major American apparel brand, alleging substantial similarity between a photographer’s work and images contained in print and televisions ads, and successfully defended this decision on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, dismissing a lawsuit brought by Levon Helm, a former member of the rock group the Band, who claimed that use of his vocal performance on The Weight, the Band’s signature song, in a television commercial violated his right of privacy.
  • Successfully represented many business owners in copyright disputes concerning the use of photographs on websites and social media accounts.
  • Successfully represented unknown screenwriters in a high-profile copyright-infringement lawsuit regarding the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and settled the case settled shortly after a favorable decision denying Twentieth Century Fox’s summary judgment motion.

Restrictive Covenants and Employment-Related Disputes:

  • Obtained a defense verdict from a Brooklyn jury for a national temporary staffing agency in an employment discrimination and retaliation case.
  • Following expedited discovery and a preliminary injunction hearing, obtained a decision on behalf of r-pac International, a global packaging company, that restrictive covenants in an agreement with Avery Dennison did not prevent a newly hired employee from working for r-pac.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed by the Second Circuit, dismissing a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a limousine company manager who remained employed for more than a year after filing an EEOC charge alleging age and national origin discrimination.
  • Obtained monetary sanctions against Thompson Wigdor & Gilly, followed by a voluntary dismissal with prejudice, after the law firm allowed its client in an employment discrimination case to conceal that she had obtained a new job with a higher salary.
  • Following a two-day preliminary injunction hearing, negotiated a settlement of a restrictive covenant suit brought by a competitor against a major newswire and several new IT employees.
  • Successfully represented a restaurant and lounge in a Fair Labor Standards Act suit brought by kitchen employees, and obtained summary judgment dismissing overtime claims by a head chef.
  • Obtained an arbitration award for a consulting company rejecting its former CEO’s claim that his employment was terminated without cause and denying his multimillion-dollar claims for severance pay and incentive compensation.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a derivative lawsuit brought on behalf of an inventor’s former employer asserting ownership rights in certain tooth-whitening products.
  • Successfully represented the licensee of Hello Kitty-branded consumer electronics products against a claim that he procured the license in violation of fiduciary obligations to his former employer.

Contract Disputes and Business Torts:

  • Following a purported termination of an exclusive distribution agreement, obtained an arbitration award for Mission Products declaring that the agreement remained in full force and effect and that the counter-party had sold certain cooling products in breach of the exclusivity provisions.
  • Successfully represented Clear Channel Outdoor in a $5 million dispute with a Brooklyn developer following Clear Channel’s termination of leases for outdoor signs in response to a Second Circuit decision upholding New York City restrictions on advertising signs.
  • Represented many businesses in putative class actions alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act related to website accessibility for blind and visually impaired consumers.
  • Successfully represented many owners of closely held businesses, including restaurants, tech start-ups, architectural firms, and real estate businesses, in disputes with co-owners over control, ownership rights and alleged breaches of contractual and fiduciary obligations.
  • Represented a marketing firm in a third-party action brought by a pharmaceutical company seeking indemnification in a putative class-action under the Telephone Communications Protection Act lawsuit with multimillion-dollar exposure regarding “junk faxes.”
  • Successfully represented a marketing communications agency in arbitration against a former client and negotiated a $1 million settlement in connection with termination of a master services agreement without providing proper notice.
  • Following trial, obtained monetary damages and an injunction barring a competitor from making false statements on its website in violation of the Lanham Act.
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar federal jury verdict for a law firm in a breach-of-contract dispute with a former client and successfully defended this verdict on appeal.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Recent Cases in Copyright Law,” Brand Activation Legal Webinar, April 9, 2019

"Litigating Copyright Claims: Recent Developments and Practical Tips," Davis & Gilbert Intellectual Property Litigation Breakfast Seminar, September 21, 2011

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Street Art, Copyright Infringement, and De Minimis Use," D&G Intellectual Property Litigation Alert, September 2018

Author, "Can the First Amendment Trump the Right of Publicity?" Davis & Gilbert 2016 Mitigating Risk: Key Litigation Developments

PRESS

Quoted, Law360, "Thompson Wigdor Sanctioned Over Attempt to Conceal," by Zach Winnick, May 31, 2011

Quoted, New York Law Journal, "Law Firm Is Sanctioned Over Client’s Concealment in Bias Suit," by Mark Hamblett, May 27, 2011

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

EDUCATION

Fordham University, J.D., 1993
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1988


The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Intellectual Property:

  • Successfully represented many major global businesses, including Mars, AT&T, Coca-Cola, IBM, Tommy Hilfiger, Hyundai, Pfizer, AOL, Procter & Gamble, BBDO Worldwide, Wieden + Kennedy, Grey Worldwide, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Omnicom Media Group in copyright, trademark, and right-of-publicity disputes arising out of commercials and other marketing materials.
  • Successfully defended Brainjolt, an online viral content company, in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a competitor concerning short articles and “listicles” posted on Brainjolt’s websites.
  • Successfully represented Jinno International Co., a South Korea-based supplier of fabrics to the apparel industry, in a trademark and copyright infringement action against its U.S.-based sales agent over use of its trademarks and ownership of fabric designs created on its behalf.
  • Represented TED Conferences in all intellectual property matters, including disputes over infringement of its “TED” and “TED Talks” trademarks.
  • Represented Facebook and Wieden + Kennedy in a high-profile case brought by Eminem’s publishing company alleging that a musical phrase in a Facebook commercial infringed its copyright in the composition Under the Influence.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a copyright infringement suit against a major American apparel brand, alleging substantial similarity between a photographer’s work and images contained in print and televisions ads, and successfully defended this decision on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, dismissing a lawsuit brought by Levon Helm, a former member of the rock group the Band, who claimed that use of his vocal performance on The Weight, the Band’s signature song, in a television commercial violated his right of privacy.
  • Successfully represented many business owners in copyright disputes concerning the use of photographs on websites and social media accounts.
  • Successfully represented unknown screenwriters in a high-profile copyright-infringement lawsuit regarding the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and settled the case settled shortly after a favorable decision denying Twentieth Century Fox’s summary judgment motion.

Restrictive Covenants and Employment-Related Disputes:

  • Obtained a defense verdict from a Brooklyn jury for a national temporary staffing agency in an employment discrimination and retaliation case.
  • Following expedited discovery and a preliminary injunction hearing, obtained a decision on behalf of r-pac International, a global packaging company, that restrictive covenants in an agreement with Avery Dennison did not prevent a newly hired employee from working for r-pac.
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed by the Second Circuit, dismissing a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a limousine company manager who remained employed for more than a year after filing an EEOC charge alleging age and national origin discrimination.
  • Obtained monetary sanctions against Thompson Wigdor & Gilly, followed by a voluntary dismissal with prejudice, after the law firm allowed its client in an employment discrimination case to conceal that she had obtained a new job with a higher salary.
  • Following a two-day preliminary injunction hearing, negotiated a settlement of a restrictive covenant suit brought by a competitor against a major newswire and several new IT employees.
  • Successfully represented a restaurant and lounge in a Fair Labor Standards Act suit brought by kitchen employees, and obtained summary judgment dismissing overtime claims by a head chef.
  • Obtained an arbitration award for a consulting company rejecting its former CEO’s claim that his employment was terminated without cause and denying his multimillion-dollar claims for severance pay and incentive compensation.
  • Successfully moved to dismiss a derivative lawsuit brought on behalf of an inventor’s former employer asserting ownership rights in certain tooth-whitening products.
  • Successfully represented the licensee of Hello Kitty-branded consumer electronics products against a claim that he procured the license in violation of fiduciary obligations to his former employer.

Contract Disputes and Business Torts:

  • Following a purported termination of an exclusive distribution agreement, obtained an arbitration award for Mission Products declaring that the agreement remained in full force and effect and that the counter-party had sold certain cooling products in breach of the exclusivity provisions.
  • Successfully represented Clear Channel Outdoor in a $5 million dispute with a Brooklyn developer following Clear Channel’s termination of leases for outdoor signs in response to a Second Circuit decision upholding New York City restrictions on advertising signs.
  • Represented many businesses in putative class actions alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act related to website accessibility for blind and visually impaired consumers.
  • Successfully represented many owners of closely held businesses, including restaurants, tech start-ups, architectural firms, and real estate businesses, in disputes with co-owners over control, ownership rights and alleged breaches of contractual and fiduciary obligations.
  • Represented a marketing firm in a third-party action brought by a pharmaceutical company seeking indemnification in a putative class-action under the Telephone Communications Protection Act lawsuit with multimillion-dollar exposure regarding “junk faxes.”
  • Successfully represented a marketing communications agency in arbitration against a former client and negotiated a $1 million settlement in connection with termination of a master services agreement without providing proper notice.
  • Following trial, obtained monetary damages and an injunction barring a competitor from making false statements on its website in violation of the Lanham Act.
  • Obtained a multimillion-dollar federal jury verdict for a law firm in a breach-of-contract dispute with a former client and successfully defended this verdict on appeal.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Recent Cases in Copyright Law,” Brand Activation Legal Webinar, April 9, 2019

"Litigating Copyright Claims: Recent Developments and Practical Tips," Davis & Gilbert Intellectual Property Litigation Breakfast Seminar, September 21, 2011

PUBLICATIONS

Co-Author, "Street Art, Copyright Infringement, and De Minimis Use," D&G Intellectual Property Litigation Alert, September 2018

Author, "Can the First Amendment Trump the Right of Publicity?" Davis & Gilbert 2016 Mitigating Risk: Key Litigation Developments

PRESS

Quoted, Law360, "Thompson Wigdor Sanctioned Over Attempt to Conceal," by Zach Winnick, May 31, 2011

Quoted, New York Law Journal, "Law Firm Is Sanctioned Over Client’s Concealment in Bias Suit," by Mark Hamblett, May 27, 2011

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York
U.S. District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

EDUCATION

Fordham University, J.D., 1993
Wesleyan University, B.A., 1988


The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms