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Simon Frankel
Simon J. Frankel
Partner
San Francisco +1 415 591 7052 sfrankel@cov.com Download V-card

Simon Frankel focuses his practice on copyright and trademark litigation, Internet privacy and technology disputes, consumer class actions, and legal issues related to visual art. He is chair of Covington’s Intellectual Property Rights practice group and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He has been consistently recognized as a leading intellectual property lawyer by several publications, including Best Lawyers and Benchmark Litigation.

  • On behalf of numerous Internet service providers, obtained dismissals of putative class actions asserting privacy claims under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and Video Privacy Protection Act.
  • Represented Microsoft in defeating copyright infringement claims concerning Bing search engine.
  • Represented Samsung in defeating right of publicity action brought by Olympic athletes.
  • On behalf of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, defeated claims by parties seeking to attach Persian antiquities in efforts to enforce a judgment against Iran, Rubin v. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1st Cir. 2013), and claim to Austrian expressionist painting, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston v. Seger-Thomschitz (1st Cir. 2010).
  • Represented Samsung in defending copyright and trademark claims concerning printer software.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice at pleading stage of two cases against pharmaceutical companies alleging false advertising, unfair competition, and fraud claims. Jarrett v. InterMune (9th Cir. 2011); Ostergard v. Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2008).
  • Represented plaintiff on successful rehearing in Toney v. L'Oreal USA, Inc., 406 F.3d 905 (7th Cir. 2005), concerning Copyright Act preemption of state rights of publicity.
  • Defeated defamation claims at pleading stage under California Anti-SLAPP statute. Troy Group, Inc. v. Tilson, 364 F. Supp. 2d 1149 (C.D. Cal. 2005).
  • Representation of Corbis Corporation in numerous copyright enforcement matters concerning unauthorized use of visual images.

Pro Bono

  • Represented artist sued by Mattel for copyright and trademark infringement for using Barbie doll in artistic photographs—defeated preliminary injunction motion, prevailed on summary judgment (affirmed by the Ninth Circuit), and ultimately recovered over $2 million in fees and costs. Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions, 353 F.3d 792 (9th Cir. 2003).
  • State of California v. L.T. Represented defendant in criminal misdemeanor trial; acquitted on all charges.
  • Represented historical society in copyright action concerning enforceability of contractual restrictions on public domain works; case settled favorably for society.
  • Advised traditional letter press on copyright and trademark issues.
  • Represented non-profit in obtaining temporary restraining order preventing use of confusingly similar trademark in political campaign.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Stanford Law School, Lecturer-in-Law (teaching Art and the Law) (2012-present)
  • San Francisco Arts Commission, Commissioner (2013-present)
  • California State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominee Evaluation, Commissioner (2012-2015)
  • Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Board of Directors (2008-2015)
  • American Law Institute (Member 2007-present) ; Advisory Group for Restatement of the Law of Copyright (2015-present)
  • Copyright Society of USA, Member (Trustee, 2012-2015; Chair, Northern California Chapter, 2009-2012)
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing (2015)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Recognized for Litigation - Intellectual Property (2012-2016)
  • Legal 500 US, Recognized for Intellectual Property: Copyright; Trademarks: Non-Contentious and Litigation (2013-2016); Media, Technology & Telecoms: Marketing & Advertising and Technology: Data Protection & Privacy (2013)
  • Euromoney's Benchmark Litigation, State Star, CA (2013-2014)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2007-2014)
  • Daily Journal, Top 30 Intellectual Property Lawyers in California (2005)