Intellectual Property & Public Domain Protection
Wolf Haldenstein has distinguished itself as a leader in the area of copyright law, intellectual property and public domain protection, which is particularly concentrated on determining where the boundaries of ownership and licensing intersect with fair use and the public domain.
The Firm has focused its recent efforts on identifying creative works that hold deep cultural value and bringing them into the public domain, thereby ensuring the rights of artists and individuals to leverage that value through their own creative endeavors.
Wolf Haldenstein put itself at the forefront of intellectual property jurisprudence by initiating a groundbreaking class action over a disputed copyright, Good Morning To You Productions Corp. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., No. CV 13-04460-GHK (MRWx) (C.D. Cal.), which successfully challenged the copyright claimed on “Happy Birthday to You,” the world’s most famous song. The Firm received worldwide acclaim for its trailblazing work in the Happy Birthday litigation, which returned the song to the public domain. Global media, such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, NBC News, CBS Nightly News, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, celebrated the historic results achieved by the Firm.
Wolf Haldenstein is presently litigating two other important copyright class actions. The first action, We Shall Overcome Foundation v. The Richmond Organization, Inc. (TRO Inc.), et al., No. CV 16-2725-DLC (S.D.N.Y.), is challenging the copyright claimed on “We Shall Overcome,” which the Library of Congress has called “the most powerful song in United States history.” The second action, Saint-Amour, et al. v. The Richmond Organization, Inc. (TRO Inc.), et al., No. CV 16-4464-DAB (S.D.N.Y.), is challenging the copyright claimed on “This Land is Your Land,” one of the nation’s most famous and important folk songs.
These landmark copyright class action cases have earned Wolf Haldenstein a singular reputation in the copyright litigation field and have set a new benchmark in intellectual property law.
The Copyright, Intellectual Property & Public Domain Practice is fully supported by the Firm’s Business Practice group, dovetailing and leveraging our skills and experience in complex class actions, jury trials, and business litigation to protect our clients, their intellectual property and the public domain.