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Experience List
DWT
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Admitted to Practice

  • California, 1981
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2004
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2007

Bruce Isaacs

IsaacsBruce
Partner
T213.633.6808
F213.633.6899
Bruce Isaacs has 34 years of experience litigating intellectual property, entertainment, contract, and business matters. Bruce represents motion picture studios, television networks, video game developers, media companies, rights-holders, financiers, producers, distributors, directors, actors, writers, and others in copyright infringement (literary and music), idea submission, right of publicity,  contract,  profit participation, trademark, trade dress, defamation, privacy, trade secret, departing employee, valuation, credit, and other business related actions. 

Bruce has represented Sony, Fox, Warner Bros., New Line, Universal, DreamWorks, CBS, Infinity Ward, Anonymous Content, WWE Studios, Stone Village Entertainment, Payam Films, Bad Religion, Nike, Rosenbloom Entertainment, Bruce Nash Entertainment, Twentieth Television, Creative Artists Agency, Sean Cunningham, James Cameron, Garth Brooks, Morrissey, Spike Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Sheen, Gale Anne Hurd, the estate of Yul Brynner,Twist Animation, Roger Staub, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Debbie Allen, Peter Fonda, Sheri Lewis, Janet Jackson, Dean Cain, Steven Railsback, Nutri-Vet, Zomba Recording Corp., Sid and Marty Krofft, Alcon Entertainment, Halestone Distribution, Del Taco, Sobini Films, FischerHealth, Plantronics, and many others in these types of litigation matters.

Representative Experience

Call of Duty / Modern Warfare video games*

Represented 40 video game developers who were profit participants in the multi-billion-dollar video game franchise "Call of Duty" / "Modern Warfare" in Infinity Ward Employee Group (Alderman, et al) v. Activision. According to the Los Angeles Times, the video game publisher, Activision, made a $42.3 million payment to the 40 profit participants (not a settlement payment) approximately two weeks before the jury trial was scheduled to begin. The case then settled the day before jury selection. According to the Los Angeles Times, the case settled for an amount between $140 and $180 million paid to the 42 profit participants who sued. (2012)

CBS – Right of Publicity Claim by College Athletes

Co-represented CBS Interactive in a putative class action filed by college athletes who sought $800 million in damages claiming their right of publicity had been violated when numerous photographs taken at college sporting events were posted on the universities’ own websites. In Lightbourne v. CBS Interactive, et al., Lightbourne’s motion for class certification was successfully defeated and CBS’ motion for summary judgment was granted. The Court reasoned that Lightbourne had given his express consent and that the NCAA rules did not invalidate that express consent. (2015)

Twist Animation – Alleged Infringement of Musical Theme Song on YouTube Children’s Video Channel

Represented Twist Animation in a copyright infringement case involving its musical theme song which appeared on hundreds of children’s videos. The dispute was settled following a mediation which took place after Twist Animation had informally presented its forthcoming motion for summary judgment. (2015)

Anonymous Content and Overt Operations – Age of Adeline

Co-represented Anonymous Content, Overt Operations, and other producers in a contract dispute involving play or pay issues and whether or not the producers remained attached to this feature film project which would entitle them to fixed compensation, contingent compensation and credit. The matter of Overt Operations; Anonymous Content, et al. v. Lakeshore Entertainment Group, LLP was amicably resolved a few weeks before the feature motion picture “Age of Adeline” was released in the theaters and the terms are confidential. (2015)

Batman and Superman*

Served as party arbitrator for Creative Artists Agency in its dispute with William Morris Endeavor for commissions due from director Christopher Nolan on "The Dark Knight Rises," "Man of Steel," and subsequent productions based thereon. The matter was settled. (2013)

WWE Studios - P & A Backstop Guaranty

Represented WWE studios, a co-financier of the independently produced feature film entitled “Dead Man Down” in this contract dispute over what remedies, if any, are recoverable in light of the failure of the co-obligor (not WWE Studios) to make timely payment. In the matter of FilmDistrict v. IM Global and Reliance and WWE Studios v. IM Global and Reliance, the Arbitrator issued a confidential arbitration award following an eight-day arbitration hearing. (2015)

Green Day concert tour – East Jesus Nowhere*

Successfully defended the set designer of the Green Day concert tour in a copyright infringement claim asserted by a street artist who claimed that his painting was infringed during Green Day's live performances of "East Jesus Nowhere." In Seltzer v. Green Day, Roger Staub et al, the defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted on the grounds that the set design at issue was "transformative" and protected by the First Amendment and the district court's finding of fair use was affirmed by the 9th Circuit in a published decision. (2013)

Top Chef and Project Runway*

Represented shareholders in a dispute over the valuation of their stock after the 2014 sale of Magical Elves, Inc., the television production company which produced "Top Chef," "Project Runway," and many other successful shows and the subsequent productions based thereon. The dispute was settled. (2014)

Vampires – Manhattan Undying*

Represented the financer and director of an independently financed feature film in a dispute with the producer over who has "final cut" of the movie and producer's fees, credit, and back-end profit participation. The dispute was settled the day before the scheduled arbitration. (2013)

More vampires – the Twilight movie franchise*

Represented one of the producers of "Twilight," "New Moon," "Eclipse," and "Breaking Dawn" in a dispute over producer's fees and back-end profit participation. The dispute was settled. (2010)

Nike*

Represented Nike in a confidential right of publicity matter. (2014)

Terminator 1, 2, 3, and 4*

Successfully defended producer Gale Anne Hurd in a contributory copyright infringement claim in connection with "Terminator" 1, 2, 3, and 4 arising from her sale of the sequel rights to the Terminator franchise. Hurd's motion for summary judgment on the literary and the music issues was granted and the plaintiff's appeal to the 9th Circuit was dismissed. (2012)

Terminator 4

Successfully represented producer Gale Anne Hurd in an idea submission claim concerning "Terminator 4." Hurd’s motion to dismiss the case on res judicata and collateral estoppel grounds was granted. (2015)

Trial – Pet supplements trademark war*

In a 12-day jury trial in federal court, a common law trademark case, successfully obtained a defense verdict for client, Nutri-Vet, Inc. (2011)

Trial – Harry Potter flying toys*

In a four-day bench trial in federal court, a dispute over flying "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars" toys and whether they had sufficient ability to fly so as to conform to the delivery requirements of the contract, successfully obtained a defense verdict for client, a corporate executive named Michael Cookson, of Master Replicas, Inc. (2009)

Trial – Movie mix-up*

In a 12-day jury trial, obtained a plaintiff's verdict for Halestone Distribution, who sued when the DVD duplicator mixed up Halestone's Mormon comedy movie with another movie entitled "Adored: Diary of a Porn Star," causing damage to the theatrical and the DVD release of the picture. (2007)

Trial – Movie tracking partnership dispute*

In a nine-day jury trial, obtained a plaintiff's verdict for client who was excluded from partnership opportunities in the movie tracking business. (2005) 

Trial – Right of publicity*

In a six-day bench trial, obtained a defense verdict for client, the Great Earth Companies, in a right of publicity claim asserted by a male model and bodybuilder who claimed that his image was used, without his consent, on the bottles and in packaging of numerous vitamin supplements. (2001)

Trial – Solicitation of employees*

In a 23-day jury trial, obtained a plaintiff's verdict for client in a case where a departing fiduciary employee solicited away co-employees and the business revenues they generated. (2001)

Trial – Godfather III*

In a five-day bench trial, obtained a defense verdict in a case in which a writer turned to the superior court seeking writing credit on the movie "Godfather III," after losing a WGA credit arbitration, and likewise challenged the legality and application of the WGA credit arbitration rules themselves. (2000)

Trial – Dumb and Dumber*

Represented New Line Cinema in an eight-day jury trial in federal court, in a dispute about whether a would-be producer with a first look agreement with New Line Cinema was attached to the highly successful movie "Dumb and Dumber" and whether that putative producer was entitled to fixed compensation, contingent compensation, and the value of the lost producer credit, in which the case settled after the trial was completed and while the jury was deliberating. (1996)

Magnificent Seven*

Represented the widow of Yul Brynner in a profit participation dispute relating to the 25th anniversary release of the film classic "The Magnificent Seven."  The matter settled prior to the commencement of litigation. (2007)

Charlie Sheen – Two and a Half Men*

Represented Charlie Sheen in a right of publicity and invasion of privacy claim related to one of the re-occurring characters featured in the television show "Two and a Half Men." The plaintiff contended that a certain character was based on her life story and that some of the story lines about the character were an invasion of her private life. After a successful demurrer on behalf of Charlie Sheen based on the First Amendment, the matter promptly settled. (2007)   

Celebrity jury*

Represented Warner Bros. and TelePictures in an idea submission claim concerning two celebrity jury shows. The matter promptly settled after Warner Bros.' motion for summary judgment was filed. (2007)

Friday the 13th*

Represented the director / producer / co-rights holder of "Friday the 13th" in a dispute over rights payments and back-end profit participation relating to sequels and remakes. The dispute settled during the third day of the arbitration hearing. (2009) 

The Matrix 1, 2, and 3*

Represented Warner Bros. and various other defendants in a copyright infringement case relating to the Matrix franchise. Warner Bros.' motion for summary judgment was granted and no appeal was filed. (2005)

Terminator 1, 2, and 3*

Represented Fox, James Cameron, and Gale Anne Hurd in a copyright infringement case relating to "Terminator" 1, 2, and 3. Fox's motion for summary judgment was granted and no appeal was filed. (2005)

The Biggest Loser*

Represented Twentieth Television in a copyright infringement and idea submission claim related to the television show "The Biggest Loser." Twentieth Television's motion for summary judgment was granted as to the copyright claim and, after the remaining idea submission claim was remanded to state court, plaintiff then abandoned the case. (2008) 

Austin Powers*

Represented New Line Cinema in a dispute with the co-financier of "Austin Powers 1" who failed to exercise its option to co-finance "Austin Powers 2" and "Austin Powers 3". Nevertheless, the financier of "Austin Powers 1" claimed an entitlement to participate in merchandising profits for "Austin Powers 2 and 3". Filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of New Line Cinema and the matter settled while the motion was pending. (2002)

Malcom X*

Represented Warner Bros. and Spike Lee in a joint authorship and copyright ownership claim asserted by the technical consultant on the movie "Malcom X."  Warner Bros. and Spike Lee's motion for summary judgment on the joint authorship issue was granted and then affirmed by the 9th Circuit in a published decision which is considered to be a key case on joint authorship under the Copyright Act.  Disposed of the balance of the case by way of a second motion for summary judgment. (2004) 

The Osbourne Family Reboot Project

Represented producers in dispute with the Osbourne Family regarding the contractual right to be attached to the Osbourne Family reboot project and other film and television projects which was amicably resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement. (2015)

T-Pain / Akon*

Represented the music producer sued for copyright infringement. Defendants' motion for summary judgment was granted and the plaintiffs abandoned their appeal. (2011)

Morrissey

Represented Morrissey in a contract dispute which was amicably resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement. (2015)

Alleged copyright infringement – jewelry

Represented CBS Radio in a dispute with a jewelry designer which claimed that jewelry sold via CBS’s shopping outlets was infringing which was amicably resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement. (2015)

Racing Stripes*

Represented Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment in copyright and trademark infringement claim related to the movie "Racing Stripes." Warner Bros.' and Alcon's motion for summary judgment was granted and no appeal was filed.  (2005)

Seven*

Represented New Line Cinema in a profit participation dispute relating to the movie "Seven". The producer contented that, based on the most favored nations provision in her written contract, she was entitled to the same adjusted gross back-end profit participation as the stars of the movie, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freedman. New Line Cinema's motion for summary judgment was granted and the case settled promptly after the ruling. (1999)  

Cowboys and Aliens*

Represented Universal and DreamWorks in a copyright infringement and idea submission action regarding "Cowboys and Aliens." Universal's motion for summary judgment was granted and the plaintiff abandoned the appeal. (1998)

The Sandlot*

Represented Fox in a right of publicity case related to one of the characters in the movie "The Sandlot." Fox's dispositive motion based on the First Amendment was granted and then affirmed by the Court of Appeal in a published decision. (1997)

Britney Spears*

Co-represented Zomba Recording Corp. in a trademark infringement case relating to the title of one of Britney Spears' record albums. Zomba's motion for summary judgment, based on the artistic relevancy test and the First Amendment, was granted and no appeal was filed. (2005)

Advertising Intellectual Property Rights

Represented creators of advertising intellectual property software in a contract dispute over ownership of various intellectual property rights. The matter was amicably resolved following an all-day mediation pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement. (2015)
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Partner, Wyman & Isaacs LLP, Beverly Hills, Calif., 1988-2014
  • Partner, Green & Isaacs, Los Angeles, 1985-1988
  • Associate, Freedman & Sobel, Beverly Hills, Calif., 1982-1985
  • Associate, Swerdlow, Glickbarg & Shimer, Beverly Hills, Calif., 1981-1982

Professional & Community Activities

  • Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of California
  • Entertainment Law Section, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Intellectual Property Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Founding Board Member of the Habitat for Humanity, Dawn to Dust Golf Marathon fundraising event 
  • Board of Directors, Brentwood Country Club

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Southern California Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2013; 2015-2017