Kent Raygor, a partner in the Century City office, practices in the Entertainment, Media, and Technology Group.
Areas of Practice
- Intellectual property litigation and counseling—trademark, copyright, trade dress, false advertising, computer, and Internet
- Media law litigation and counseling—First Amendment and right of publicity litigation; pre-publication clearance analyses
Professional Qualifications and Activities
- Chair of Sheppard Mullin’s Intellectual Property Department (1997-2002)
- Broad experience in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations in the California and Federal Courts
- Appeals before the California Courts of Appeal, California Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court
- Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer" for intellectual property litigation in 2006, 2007, and 2009 (Los Angeles Magazine)
- Named as one of the "Top 10 Entertainment IP Lawyers" in California (Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 9, 2008)
- Recognized for digital rights management and digital convergence expertise in 2006 (Los Angeles Business Journal, Who's Who In Law—Intellectual Property issue)
- Judge Pro Tem, Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts (1996 to 2002)
- Board of Directors, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA, 2006 to present)
Representative Litigation Experience
Trademark And Copyright Cases
Hasbro, Inc. v. MGA Entertainment, Inc.
Successfully defended MGA (creator of the Bratz® dolls and television, video game, and film characters) in a trademark infringement case brought by Hasbro in Rhode Island (Hasbro’s headquarters). Hasbro claimed that MGA's "Spider-Man & Friends 3-D Memory Match-Up" game infringed Hasbro's rights in a card-matching game called "Memory" that Hasbro had marketed since 1966. After a seven-day trial, the Court ruled in favor of MGA, finding that it had shown (through third-party memory games, dictionaries, encyclopedias, trade publications, expert testimony from linguists and game experts, federally issued patents and trademark registrations describing memory games, Hasbro's own use of "memory" with other products in a generic sense, and other evidence) that, despite Hasbro's 40 years of marketing of the game, claimed $130,000,000 in sales, and an incontestable trademark registration, the term "memory" was generic for this type of matching game and could not function as a trademark, thereby resulting in a total loss of trademark rights by Hasbro. Hasbro, Inc. v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., 497 F. Supp. 2d 337 (D.R.I. 2007).
Starz Entertainment v. Buena Vista Television
Represented Buena Vista Television (The Walt Disney Company) in a major copyright infringement and breach of contract action arising out of the electronic sell-through by Buena Vista Home Entertainment of Disney films through Apple's iTunes service and other Internet retailers. Starz asserted that such sales breached its exclusive license agreement with Buena Vista Television, which gave Starz the right to exhibit Disney films through Starz' subscription-based pay television services. The case settled in December 2008 two weeks before trial was to commence.
Mondane v. Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Rainforest Films
Defended Screen Gems, Sony Pictures, and Rainforest Films in a copyright infringement and idea submission case brought over the 2007 film Stomp The Yard. The plaintiff dismissed its suit just before the Court ruled on Screen Gems’, Sony’s, and Rainforest’s summary judgment motion.
Streat v. Rainforest Films, Sony Pictures Releasing Corp.
Defended Rainforest Films and Sony Pictures in a copyright infringement and idea submission case brought over the 2005 film The Gospel. The plaintiff dismissed its suit just before the Court ruled on Rainforest’s and Sony’s summary judgment motion.
In re The Gator Corporation Software Trademark & Copyright Litigation
Lead counsel for The Gator Corporation (now Claria Corporation) in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) federal action in Atlanta that combined multiple federal lawsuits filed around the U.S. against Gator involving permission-based pop-up Internet advertising delivered to subscribers targeted at interests they exhibit through their web-surfing behaviors. The plaintiffs (UPS, Wells Fargo, Hertz, L.L. Bean, TigerDirect, Intercontinental Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Overstock.com, LendingTree, PriceGrabber, and others) argued that Gator’s delivery of behaviorally targeted pop-up ads to consumers' home computer monitors, even when those consumers agree to receive such ads, infringed the plaintiffs' trademarks and copyrights. The Hertz Corporation v. The Gator Corporation, 250 F. Supp. 2d 421 (D.N.J. 2003); In re The Gator Corporation Software Trademark & Copyright Litigation, 259 F. Supp. 2d 1378 (J.P.M.L. 2003).
Research In Motion (Blackberry) v. Samsung
Defended Samsung against trademark infringement claims asserted by Research In Motion, which claimed that Samsung's "BlackJack" smartphone and "Black Carbon" unlocked mobile phone infringed RIM's trademark rights in the term "BlackBerry".
Al Capp Enterprises v. The Walt Disney Company, ABC
Defended Disney and ABC in a trademark infringement suit filed by Al Capp Enterprises, owner of rights to the L'il Abner comic strip and characters, over references in the Lizzie McGuire television series to a "Sadie Hawkins Day" and "Sadie Hawkins Dance." Obtained a dismissal of the entire action.
Flying Mallard Productions, Scott Gurney, Deirdre Delaney v. ESPN, Inc.
Successfully defended ESPN in a trademark infringement, idea submission, and right of publicity suit filed by actors Scott Gurney and Deirdre Delaney over ESPN's 2003 reality-based prime-time series, Totally Hooked, which the plaintiffs alleged appropriated their ideas and format for an earlier series, Fish On!, aired by ESPN in 2002. ESPN defeated an injunction request aimed at barring airing of the series and the case settled.
Fuel Design v. Fox Extreme Sports Network
Fuel Clothing Company, Inc. v. Fuel TV, Inc.
Defended Fox Cable Networks Group in two trademark infringement suits filed by two companies using the name "Fuel" (one a broadcast design company and the other an action sports clothing company) over the name of Fox's new 24/7 action sports television network, Fuel TV. The Fuel Design case ended in a settlement after the plaintiff failed to obtain a TRO enjoining the launch of Fox's new network. The Fuel Clothing case ended in a settlement just before trial was to commence.
UGG Holdings, Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Koolaburra
Represented UGG and Deckers, manufacturers and sellers of the famous UGG® sheepskin boots, in a trademark infringement claim against another manufacturer of sheepskin boots that was claiming superior rights in the UGG mark. Among other things, the defendant argued that the term "ugg" was generic for such footwear in Australia and that the doctrine of foreign equivalents (despite the fact that this was an English-to-English comparison) thereby mandated invalidation of UGG's trademark rights in the U.S. Obtained summary judgment for UGG and Deckers on all claims, thereby defeating a genericness attack on the famous UGG trademark.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Represented Fox in a trademark opposition proceeding before the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Anheuser-Busch arising from its attempt to register KING OF THE HILL as a beer-related trademark, in violation of Fox’s trademark rights in the King of the Hill animated television series.
World Gym v. Bally Total Fitness
Defended Bally in a trademark infringement and trade secret case involving a contemplated acquisition of World Gym by Bally and the use by both fitness center chains of a "gorilla" logo. Bally prevailed.
Represented GEICO in a trade name infringement action involving the infringement of GEICO corporate names by off-shore insurers in the Caribbean. GEICO prevailed.
AKA Clothing, Inc. v. Eddie Baer, Inc.
Defended Eddie Bauer in a trademark infringement case filed by a clothing manufacturer who objected to a new line of Eddie Bauer clothing marketed under an "AKA" name. Eddie Bauer prevailed and launched a national chain of AKA EDDIE BAUER stores.
Represented Billabong in numerous successful counterfeiting, trademark, and copyright infringement matters involving use of the BILLABONG® trademarks with clothing, surfwear, films, contests, and other goods and services.
Represented Hurley International in numerous successful trademark infringement matters over unlawful use of the HURLEY® marks with clothing, surfwear, films, contests, and other goods and services.
Classic Concepts v. Pier 1 Imports
Represented Pier 1 Imports in copyright infringement suits over the design of kilims and other products sold by Pier 1.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation v. Baby Einstein
Represented Fox in a trademark infringement claim over Baby Einstein’s creation of a series of “Baby Dolittle” DVDs in violation of Fox’s rights in the DR. DOLITTLE and DOCTOR DOLITTLE trademarks and the Dr. Dolittle literary properties.
Herbalife International v. Lumene North America
Represented Herbalife in stopping trademark infringement by a Finnish cosmetics company and its U.S. subsidiary who were violating Herbalife’s trademark rights in the mark RADIANT C® for skin care products.
Herbalife International v. George Zoorob
Representing Herbalife in an opposition proceeding before the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board over an applicant’s attempt to register the trademark HERBALVIVE for nutritional products.
StudioCanal v. Digidesign, Avid Technology
StudioCanal v. Universal Audio
Represented StudioCanal in stopping the infringement of trademarks and other ownership rights from the 1984 film, This Is Spinal Tap.
Propel Software v. Samsung
Defending Samsung against trademark infringement claims asserted by a software manufacturer over Samsung’s new Propel smartphone.
RKO Pictures v. Qantas Airlines
Defending Qantas against trademark infringement claims asserted by RKO over Qantas’ use of artwork depicting a radio tower perched on a globe of the Earth in a Qantas advertisement.
U.S. Olympic Committee
Defended a client, which had endorsement deals with several athletes who participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, against claims by the USOC that the client was infringing and improperly using USOC trademarks.
Represented Playboy and various persons affiliated with it in enforcement of Playboy trademark rights.
Represented a foreign television network in stopping piracy of its television programming through Internet streaming.
Domain Name Disputes
Conducted numerous domain name and cybersquatting dispute resolution actions before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) pursuant to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Title And Trademark Clearance Analyses And Opinions
Performed numerous title and trademark clearance analyses and litigation avoidance opinions for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and many other studios involving many broadcast and cable, television, film, website, and mobile properties.
Trademark Compliance Programs
Created and implemented a trademark compliance and pre-publication clearance program for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Taught a series of trademark, copyright, and right of publicity programs for Lions Gate Entertainment.
Provided trademark and pre-publication clearance seminars for various other studio clients and advertising agencies.
Right Of Publicity Cases
Chris Cornell, et al. [dba "Audioslave"] v. Miller Brewing Company, Young & Rubicam, Inc., Giannini Creative Imaging
Represented Miller Brewing Company, Young & Rubicam, Inc., and Giannini Creative Imaging in a right of publicity and false endorsement suit filed by the band Audioslave over a Miller advertisement in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine that celebrated 50 years of rock and roll history. The background for the ad consisted of a collage of many ticket stubs for rock shows covering a 32-year time span, and one of those ticket stubs was for an Audioslave show.
Rivers Cuomo, et al [dba "Weezer"] v. Miller Brewing Company, Young & Rubicam, Inc., Giannini Creative Imaging
This is another suit asserting the same claim, filed by the band Weezer, as in the Audioslave case mentioned above.
Noah Johnson v. Hurley International
Defended Hurley International, the designer and wholesaler of HURLEY® brand clothing, against right of publicity, breach of contract, and false endorsement claims asserted by one of Hurley's sponsored professional surfers. Prevailed after a full trial.
Jennifer Aniston v. Man's World Publications
Successfully defended Universal Media's High Society and Celebrity Skin magazines in a First Amendment, privacy, and right of publicity case filed by Jennifer Aniston over the publication of a topless photograph of her taken by a paparazzo who shot photos of her while she was sunbathing topless in her back yard. The case settled on the first day of a jury trial in federal court.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Denzel Washington v. Fry's Electronics
Defended Fry's Electronics in a right of publicity suit filed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Denzel Washington who claimed that the use by Fry’s of images of their characters from the 2002 films Collateral Damage (Schwarzenegger) Hart’s War (Willis), and John Q (Washington) in depictions of television monitors used in Fry's newspaper ads promoting the sale of DVDs of the actors' films, infringed those actors’ rights.
Arnold Schwarzenegger v. Best Buy, Lions Gate Entertainment
Defended Lions Gate Entertainment in a right of publicity claim filed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Best Buy advertised the sale of the Terminator 2 DVD, released by Lions Gate. Like the Fry's case, Best Buy used an image from the film in depictions of television monitors in the ad.
Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston v. Casa Damiani
Defended Damiani, an Italian jewelry design house, against right of publicity and idea submission claims filed by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston involving their engagement and wedding jewelry, which Pitt claimed to have designed and Damiani produced.
Catherine Zeta-Jones v. Caudalíe, Neiman Marcus, Turnberry Estates
Defended Caudalíe, a French cosmetics company, in a right of publicity and false designation of origin suit filed by Catherine Zeta-Jones arising from Caudalíe's reference in marketing materials to reports that Zeta-Jones had purchased and used Caudalíe products.
Brad Pitt v. Playgirl, Inc.
Defended Playgirl magazine in a First Amendment, privacy, and right of publicity case. Playgirl had republished nude photographs of Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow taken by a paparazzo while they were on vacation in St. Bart’s, which others had previously published in European tabloids.
Leonardo DiCaprio v. Playgirl, Inc.
Defended Playgirl magazine in a First Amendment, privacy, and right of publicity case. Playgirl had published stills of a full frontal nude scene Leonardo DiCaprio had done in the 1995 film Total Eclipse.
José Solano v. Playgirl, Inc.
Defended Playgirl magazine in a First Amendment, privacy, and right of publicity case. Jose Solano, a former Baywatch actor, sued Playgirl magazine because it had used his headshot in an article, which included no nudity, about ten “hot” male actors in Hollywood. The actor's publicity still was also used on the cover. He argued that he suffered a privacy invasion because the nudity content of the magazine allegedly placed him in a false light. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Playgirl on all claims and ordered Solano to pay Playgirl's attorneys' fees. That decision was then reversed and remanded for trial in Solano v. Playgirl, 292 F.3d 1078 (9th Cir. 2002), after which the case settled.
Berto Luna v. Playgirl, Inc.
Represented Playgirl magazine in a First Amendment freedom of speech, privacy, and right of publicity case filed by Mexican model Berto Luna. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Playgirl on all claims, and ordered Luna and his counsel to pay Playgirl's attorneys' fees.
Dolores Hope Masi Collection v. CMG Worldwide
Represented Dolores Hope Masi, whose family was close to Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe gave many personal items to Ms. Masi and her family. Masi tried to market those items as part of a high-end collection. CMG Worldwide claimed to hold all deceased personality rights of publicity related to Marilyn Monroe and tried to stop any commercial use of these items.
Frankie Avalon v. Avalon Hotel
Represented the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills in a right of publicity claim asserted by Frankie Avalon over use of the Avalon name.
Carmen Electra v. Naked Women's Wrestling League
Representing NWWL in a right of publicity claim asserted by Carmen Electra arising out of a contract pursuant to which she was to provide commentary and promotional activities for pay-per-view wrestling bouts.
Represented Batjac Productions, John Wayne's production company, in right of publicity issues arising out of the use of John Wayne's name and likeness.
Angelica Pamintuan v. Infinity Studios
Successfully defended Infinity with an anti-SLAPP special motion to strike filed against a claim that Infinity’s Mystique magazine was unlawfully publishing modeling photographs of the plaintiff, who had modeled for the magazine.
Boyle v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Digital Domain
Represented Twentieth Century Fox and Digital Domain, an Academy Award®-winning special effects house, in a patent infringement suit involving the special effects for the 1998 film, Titanic. Fox and Digital Domain prevailed.
Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc.
Represented Honeywell in a three-month patent infringement jury trial—the largest patent case in U.S. history at the time. The technology involved thin film physics, laser optics, and materials science. Following the trial, the Court declared Litton's patent invalid and overturned a $1.2 billion jury verdict as unsupported by the evidence, thus enabling Honeywell to continue its highly successful inertial navigation systems business. The case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. In 1999, the trial court granted summary judgment in Honeywell's favor on all remaining claims. The Federal Circuit then affirmed the judgment in Honeywell's favor that no patent infringement had ever occurred, effectively ending the patent case after 11 years. The case is reported at Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 729 (C.D. Cal. 1995); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 87 F.3d 1559 (Fed. Cir. 1996); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc. 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 30316 (Fed. Cir. 1996); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 118 F.3d 747 (Fed. Cir. 1997); Honeywell, Inc. v. Litton Systems, Inc., 520 U.S. 1111 (1997); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 140 F.3d 1449 (Fed. Cir. 1998); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 145 F.3d 1472 (Fed. Cir. 1998); Litton Systems, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc., 238 F.3d 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2001).
- K. Raygor and O. Caglar, Snow Line: Understanding Dilution Claims Under The Lanham Act, California Law Business (September 1999)
- K. Raygor, Sanitizing Hollywood: The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, MediaLawLetter (Media Law Resource Center, May 2005)
- K. Raygor and D. Ryan, The Cost of Protecting California's Royalty: Assault Liability Under the Anti-Paparazzi Act, MediaLawLetter (Media Law Resource Center, January 2006)
- K. Raygor, Surviving The Matrix: Legal Pitfalls of Blurring Fact and Fiction, presented at the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute (January 26, 2006)
- K. Raygor, Perfect 10 Scores A Not-So-Perfect Rating By The Ninth Circuit, MediaLawLetter (Media Law Resource Center, May 2007)
- K. Raygor and V. Alter, It's Not Just Make-Believe Anymore: Fantasy Baseball And The Right Of Publicity, ABA Media, Privacy And Defamation Law Committee Newsletter (ABA, Winter/Spring 2008)
- K. Raygor and B. Bakhtari, Great Success! 'Borat's' Release Agreement Averts Liability, New York Law Journal (July 16, 2008)
- K. Raygor, Protection Of Celebrity Rights: What You Need To Know Now, presented at the USC Gould School of Law – Beverly Hills Bar Association 2008 Institute on Entertainment Law and Business (October 18, 2008)
- K. Raygor and V. Alter, Fair Use And The Right Of Publicity: A Search For A More Balanced Approach, 2008 Media Law Resource Center Bulletin, Issue No. 4, at 129-147 (December 2008)
- Co-authored the 1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, introduced by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Patrick Leahy and signed by President Clinton on November 29, 1999, which amended the Lanham Act to provide remedies for the misappropriation and misuse of Internet domain names.
International Trademark Association (INTA) - Member since 1987; Committee member, U.S. Legislation Committee (1990-94, 1999-2002); Committee member, Trademark Reporter Committee (2008-present); Editor, THE TRADEMARK REPORTER (2008-present)
Los Angeles Copyright Society
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
American Bar Association (Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Section)
State Bar of California (Intellectual Property Section)
Media Law Resource Center (MLRC)