In its April 22, 2015, edition, the Daily Journal recognized Manatt's Michelle Cooke and Mark Lee, partners in the firm's Intellectual Property practice, as top IP lawyers in California for 2015. Cooke is one of only 25 portfolio managers and patent prosecutors, and Lee is one of only 75 litigators statewide who have been named to the prestigious "Top Intellectual Property Attorneys" list.
The Daily Journal reports that the most compelling aspect of selecting attorneys for this list is recognizing the diversity of their achievements and their ability to stay on the cutting edge of new developments in patent, copyright and trademark law. The lawyers chosen for this year's list helped to advance technological innovation or transform the law while representing a range of clients, from tech giants to aggressive startups. The list demonstrates the impressive and diverse work done by California attorneys whose work advances the state's leadership in intellectual property law.
In its profile of Cooke, the Daily Journal featured her work for clients Universal Studios Inc. and Fuhu Inc. For Universal Studios, Cooke develops and implements trademark and copyright strategies in the United States and emerging markets, including South America and the Asia-Pacific region. For Fuhu, a company that created the first Android tablet for children, Cooke was able to register the trade dress of the client's flagship product. "If I have a product configuration that is the shape of the product itself, then the [U.S. Patent and] Trademark Office requires that I present information that establishes that consumers see that as a brand, as a source identifier," Cooke said. "What I did for the Nabi 2 is not something that frequently happens.
In its profile of Lee, the Daily Journal highlighted his successes for clients Soul Train Holdings LLC and music publisher IN2N Entertainment Group LLC. As counsel to Soul Train Holdings, Lee persuaded a federal judge in December 2014 to dismiss a lawsuit by a background singer by citing copyright preemption. On behalf of IN2N Entertainment Group, Lee won a summary judgment in May 2014 for a case in which the plaintiff claimed that he co-wrote the original version of Usher's song "Bad Girl." "Under copyright law, you cannot sue people to whom co-owners have granted a license for copyright infringement," said Lee, referring to the permission granted to the distributors and Usher by all of the plaintiff's co-authors.