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Christopher J. Robinson

Chris Robinson practices intellectual property and art law, as well as general commercial litigation. A former art dealer, he has an intimate knowledge of the art world. He has extensive experience in copyright and gray-market goods litigation and his practice includes trademark and unfair competition, false advertising, and patent appellate work. Chris also practices before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the National Advertising Division, and represents clients in arbitrations before the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Chris' clients include: Getty Images, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Viacom, Conde Nast Publications, Ford Foundation, Judd Foundation, and the Private Art Dealers Association.

Representative Experience

Defense of artist under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA)

Successfully assisted artist Luke Gray in a claim over the destruction of a mural painted on the ceiling of a lobby in an office building in midtown Manhattan under VARA. After an investigation by the building owners, the parties agreed to a settlement without admission of fault. (2015)

Art sales advice for Amazon

Advise Amazon with respect to its online art sales business. (Ongoing)

Art transactions counsel for various New York based galleries and private art dealers

Advise art dealers regarding purchase and sale of artwork. (Ongoing)

Public art design and development agreement

Represented major New York developer in the successful contract negotiation with Heatherwick Studios for the design of a major, large-scale public artwork for Hudson Yards, a $15 billion commercial and residential development on the West Side of Manhattan. (2014)

CarFreshner v. Getty Images

Defended Getty Images in a trade dress infringement action alleging photographic images in the company's database depicting plaintiff's tree-shaped car freshener products constituted infringement of its product configuration trademark. After Court granted Getty Images’ motion to dismiss, in part, successfully resolved the matter without any finding of liability. (N.D.N.Y. 2012)

Counsel for the Private Art Dealers Association (PADA) and New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA)

Serve as general counsel to clients, a lobbying and trade organization for private art dealers and an international association of young dealers in contemporary art. (Ongoing)

Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc.

Lead counsel representing Electronic Arts in&nbsp;defense of&nbsp;a putative class action brought by Hart, a former college quarterback, on behalf of all college football players, arising out of the purported use of their likenesses in EA’s successful NCAA Football video game series. The Federal District Court in New Jersey granted EA’s motion for summary judgment</A> and dismissed the action, finding that the video games were entitled to full First Amendment protection. 2011 WL 4005350 (D.N.J. Sept. 9, 2011) reversed in split decision before the 3rd Circuit. Related actions arising out of Electronic Arts’ "NCAA Football and Madden Football" video games in the 9th Circuit. 717 F.3d 141 (3d Cir. May 21, 2013)

Intellectual property counsel for Artnet Worldwide Corp.

Provide intellectual property and website advice to this online auction house, magazine, and network of international art galleries. (Ongoing)

Narkiewicz-Laine v. Doyle, et al.

Representing artist in action alleging violations of Visual Arts Rights Act, conversion and wrongful eviction. (Ongoing)

Recrutor v. Australia & New Zealand Bank

Representing bank in lawsuit over executive recruitment services. (N.Y. Ongoing)

Representation in turnover proceeding for Citigroup Inc.

Representing bank as neutral stakeholder in turnover proceeding by judgment holders against Iran. (Ongoing)

Playtex Products

Represented baby bottle manufacturer before the NAD and NARB in successful challenge to competitor’s advertising (2010-2011)

Ed Darack v. Random House

Copyright infringement action; dispute over use of photograph on cover of book. (S.D.N.Y. 2010)

Royalties dispute for Lex Records

Represented record company in dispute over calculation of royalties. (2010)

Scott v. Hachette Publishing

Represented Little, Brown and author Stephenie Meyer. Obtained pre-discovery dismissal of copyright claims arising out of author's last book in her famed "Twilight" series. Attorney fees awarded to defendants. (C.D. Cal. 2010) v. Henry Holt and Company

Successfully defended publisher and co-author of novel against claims of fraudulent inducement, conversion and tortious interference by plaintiff who alleged that novel plagiarized plaintiff's manuscript. Case was dismissed. 2010 WL 1932322 (S.D.N.Y. 2008)

Surf City Enterprises v. The Daily Orange, et al.

First Amendment defense for a student publication against allegations of defamation. Case settled. (Sup. Ct. Onondaga Cty. 2009) Read more

Lucasfilm Ltd. v. Ainsworth, et al.

Drafted expert opinion at the request of defendants on U.S. intellectual property issues with respect to a 2008 lawsuit in the United Kingdom High Court alleging infringement of copyrights and trademarks in costumes for the movie 'Star Wars.' (2008)

Walker v. Viacom International Inc., et al.

Obtained summary judgment in favor of defendants creator, animation studio, distributor and licensor of franchised animated cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants and television series in copyright infringement case involving claims of stand-alone character protection and story line infringement. 2008 WL 2050964; N.D. Cal, May 13, 2008; 2010 WL 236758 (9th Cir. 2008)

Alper v. Dean Hamer and Random House, Inc.

Defended the author and publisher of the book 'The God Gene' in a copyright infringement action. Obtained dismissal of claim. (S.D.N.Y. 2007)

Landrau, et al. v. Solis-Betancourt, Advance Magazine Publishers, et al.

Obtained dismissal of novel copyright and trademark claims brought by architect arising out of feature in "Architectural Digest." 554 F. Supp. 2d 114 (D.P.R. 2007) Read more

Mikhail Anikin v. Random House and Dan Brown

Defended copyright infringement case against Dan Brown and Random House in which a curator at the Hermitage and the author of a Russian work on Da Vinci claimed Brown copied his phrase 'Da Vinci Code' and his analysis of the Mona Lisa. 3:07-cv-00697 (D. Tenn. and Russian court 2007)

U.S. v. AREF and NY Civil Liberties Union

Amicus brief for publishers including New York Times, AP, Advance, etc., on disclosure of information improperly-sealed on national security grounds. (2007)

Shine v. David M. Childs and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Represented architectural firm that designed original Freedom Tower in action involving alleged copyright infringement of architectural design of Yale architecture student. Settled after motion to dismiss granted in part. 382 F. Supp. 2d 602 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)

Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. v. Abbeyvet Export Ltd.

One of several injunctions and extensive sanctions won in campaign in Southern District of New York against online sellers of grey-market pet medicines via the Internet. (2005)

Recovery of artwork for Michael Kovner

Successfully recovered paintings seized in the bankruptcy of the major New York gallery, Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, LLC.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Art Law Committee, New York City Bar Association
  • Committee on Fine Arts, New York State Bar Association
  • General Counsel, Private Art Dealers Association (PADA)
Artist obtains compensation from city for destruction of her murals, read story