Publishing and Media

Ladas & Parry represents some of the world’s largest and most cutting-edge leaders in the print, digital, and web-based publishing and multimedia industries. Publishing is no longer synonymous with traditional print media. Rather, the scope of publishing has expanded to include a diverse array of digital platforms. This expansion has increased the complexity of intellectual property issues involved in protecting, exploiting, publishing, and disseminating content in these new media. Our firm’s experience handling various intellectual property issues related to publications in these new media allows us to better serve our clients’ business needs.

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With the advent of the Internet and electronic communication systems, the publishing industry has expanded from traditional print publishing to include many varieties of digital publications, including social media, online magazines, e-newsletters, and blogs, to name a few. While digital publishing may be a cost-efficient alternative to print, there are various intellectual property issues and risks involved when choosing one format over the other, or expanding from print to digital formats. For example, the relatively easy reproduction and re-distribution of online publications results in an enhanced exposure to libel and trademark and copyright infringement claims, including unauthorized re-publication and alteration of the original work. With our firm’s experience, we are able to ensure that our publishing clients’ rights are protected in the ever-shifting legal landscape.




The emergence of digital and online printing has made it increasingly vital for publishing entities to register their trademarks as domain names. We secure, monitor, maintain, and enforce trademark rights throughout the world and, through our affiliated company, LadasDomains, related generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as .com, .org, and .biz, as well as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), such as .us, .co, .eu, .cn, and .br, worldwide. We also assist in the process of applying to establish and manage new .brand and .keyword gTLDs, submission of registered trademarks to the Trademark Clearinghouse and/or Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), and registration of marks and other terms on new .keyword gTLDs relevant to the publishing industry, such as .news, .magazine, and .books, where available. Our attorneys work closely with our clients to draft Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions (i.e., terms of service, terms of use) for their websites, tailoring such terms to the client’s particular services and needs, and to comply with applicable laws in the United States (including, e.g., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the CAN-SPAM Act, § 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), and the Trademark Act), Europe, and worldwide. Our vast experience handling IP issues related to the Internet allows us to better serve our clients in the digital world.




With the overwhelming amount of information provided to the public daily by numerous and varied sources, it is essential for a publisher to choose distinctive brand names in order to distinguish itself from competitors. A publisher relies on its brand names and trademarks to convey to the public that the information was selected, disseminated, and provided by that particular publisher. We assist our clients in developing and protecting their distinctive brand names and trademarks, and filing trademark applications and prosecuting them through to registration in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world. Our firm also offers social media and Internet watch services, which allow us to monitor third party attempts to register and use our clients’ trademarks as domain names and beyond, including within content posted on the Internet and social media.


Ladas & Parry handles copyright applications, prosecution through to registration, and maintenance matters for some of the largest companies in the publishing and multimedia industries. Our attorneys regularly advise clients on the protection and maintenance of their copyrights across the globe. We conduct clearance searches, provide opinion letters to clients, as well as handle transactional copyright matters such as licensing, assignments, security interests, and changes of name or address. Our firm is dedicated to assisting our publishing and media clients in obtaining copyright registrations in order to better protect and enforce their rights, as well as ensuring they receive proper compensation from any third parties using their works.


The content of a publication is a valuable asset for a publisher. We assist our clients in negotiating and drafting agreements to ensure they have properly obtained rights from original authors to use and reproduce original copyrighted works. Such rights can be properly obtained by work for hire agreements, full assignments, or licenses. We also advise our clients regarding moral rights in works and the ability to waive those rights under the laws of the relevant jurisdiction.

With 2013 being the first year that authors or their heirs could terminate certain copyright transfers and reclaim copyrights under the Copyright Act, we help our publishing clients understand such ownership and termination rights. When our clients seek to enter into agreements that involve the transfer of IP assets, we provide guidance in negotiating and structuring a contract to clearly address the intellectual property rights that our clients wish to transfer and retain, and carefully draft agreements to ensure success and protection from future litigation.


While certain font software and images on the Internet may be protected by copyright and thus cannot be reproduced without authorization, various practical resources are available for writers and publishers to access fonts and images at no charge. Whether or not these resources are royalty free, they come with a license if they are not in the public domain. We advise our clients regarding the limitations and risks involved with using freely available, copyrighted images or font software that are available via license, including open source licenses, as well as negotiate the terms of use.


Generally, copyrighted works cannot be copied, distributed, altered, displayed or performed (“used”) by third parties without the owner’s permission. However, certain unauthorized uses, such as certain forms of parody or newsworthy reports of issues of public concern, may nonetheless be allowed under the U.S. legal doctrine of “fair use,” which is an affirmative defense to infringement. In order to determine whether an unauthorized user is protected by fair use, a factually intensive analysis is required in which several factors, including First Amendment concerns, are considered. As a result, whether an infringing work is protected from liability by fair use is often difficult to determine. Our attorneys counsel our clients on the risks involved with unauthorized use of another’s copyrighted works.

Our attorneys also assist our clients in determining when they can legitimately use the trademarks of another, e.g., in order to refer to that other party for purposes including news reporting, commenting, parody, and comparative advertising, under the doctrines of classic and nominative fair use. These doctrines are complex and take into account several factors. In relation to both trademarks and copyrights, we assist our clients in determining whether their particular uses qualify as fair use, and the risks involved when using a mark without the owner’s authorization.



Publishers must be wary when considering what to publish, including, e.g., the applicability of the First Amendment, trade, libel, and defamation laws, the right of publicity, and privacy. For non-fiction publishers in particular, such as newspapers, magazines, and online news providers, much of their content is geared toward divulging information about popular public and private figures, or critiquing current events. We assist our clients in appreciating the risks of publishing information about individuals and events, and also provide guidance on risk management procedures to help our clients successfully navigate around potential issues that could lead to liability.


Ladas & Parry is a thought leader in the commercialization, exploitation, securitization, and licensing of intellectual property rights throughout the world. We have facilitated mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations, and performed due diligence for some of the largest commercial entities in the world. Advancements in technology, including the emergence of e-books and e-publishing, have transformed the business and financial structures of the publishing industry in a way that has changed how IP assets are valued for due diligence purposes in mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations. Our skilled attorneys are creative and knowledgeable about the valuation of IP assets and the evolving business landscape, and thus eminently suited to assess the risks and merits of such transactions.


Ladas & Parry is on the cutting edge of developments in patent law related to print and publishing. While publishers have traditionally relied on patents to protect their printing processes and mechanisms, advancements in technology have led to new patent protections related to online publishing, including e-book software and digital content platforms. Our team of experienced patent attorneys is available to assist large-scale and emerging publishing clients alike in the various types of patent protection available throughout the world.