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Simon Frankel specializes in complex civil disputes and copyright and trademark litigation, with an emphasis on the technology and consumer products sectors. He is co-chair of Covington’s Copyright and Trademark practice group and Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office.

Mr. Frankel has led defense of numerous consumer class actions, including unfair competition and false advertising claims under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. He has served as lead counsel to numerous Internet service providers in putative class actions asserting privacy claims where we obtained dismissals at the pleading stage.

  • Lead counsel for John Deere in one-week bench trial enforcing rights in green and yellow color trademark on agricultural equipment, resulting in judgment for Deere on both infringement and dilution claims and entry of a broad injunction. The ruling was recognized by Law360 as one of the "Top 10 Trademark Rulings" of 2017.    
  • Represented chip manufacturer in arbitrated license dispute with software development partner.
  • Counseled numerous clients on copyright issues related to intermediary liability, software development, and clean room issues.
  • 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 numerous copyright infringement and intermediary liability claims concerning Bing search engine.
  • Represented Samsung in defeating copyright and trademark claims concerning printer software.
  • 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).
  • 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 Corbis Corporation in numerous copyright enforcement matters concerning unauthorized use of visual images.

Pro Bono

  • Filed numerous amicus briefs on behalf of Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in support of constitutionality of restrictions on concealed carry of loaded firearms.
  • 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)
  • Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Board of Directors (2010-present)
  • Berkeley Law School, Lecturer-in-Law (teaching Privacy Litigation (2017)
  • San Francisco Arts Commission, Commissioner (2013-2019)
  • 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
  • Chambers USA, Recognized as a leading lawyer in the Art and Cultural Law category (2020)
  • Managing Intellectual Property "IP Stars," Trade mark - CA (2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Recognized for Litigation - Intellectual Property (2012-2020)
  • Legal 500 US, Recognized for Intellectual Property: Copyright; Trademarks: Litigation (2013-2017); Media, Technology & Telecoms: Marketing & Advertising and Technology: Data Protection & Privacy (2013)
  • Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing (2015)