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Admitted to Practice

  • California, 2003
  • Supreme Court of California, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2009
  • General Bar of U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2011
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 2012

Sean M. Sullivan

Shawn Shawn SullivanSean
Counsel
T213.633.8644
F213.633.6899
Sean Sullivan focuses his practice primarily on a variety of intellectual property litigation matters. His IP work includes extensive experience litigating copyright infringement, trademark and trade dress infringement matters, and piracy issues. Sean also litigates complex class actions, including consumer actions alleging unfair competition and construction defect and product liability actions. Sean represents clients in many industries spanning digital media, entertainment, Internet, consumer products, and technology.

Representative Experience

Copyright Litigation

Auerbach et al. v Manhattan Production Music and Pinnacle Entertainment

Represented defendants in a music copyright infringement action brought by the owners of all rights in the musical composition "Howling Wolf," written and performed by The Black Keys, alleging infringement by use of a song entitled "The Howler" in a television commercial for Pinnacle-owned casinos. Case settled. (S.D.N.Y. 2013)

Rosen v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Defending Amazon.com, Inc. in suit brought by photographer alleging direct and vicarious copyright infringement. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Auerbach et al. v. Pizza Hut, The Interpublic Group of Companies, The Martin Agency, and Thirtieth Century Music

Defended suit brought by owners of all copyright interests in "Gold on the Ceiling," written and performed by The Black Keys, alleging copyright infringement of their music by reason of use of allegedly substantially similar music in audio background of television commercial for Pizza Hut Cheezy Bites. Case settled. (C.D. Cal. 2012)

Manley Toys, Ltd. v. Radco Ltd HK

Defended Hong Kong toy manufacturer in an action brought by competitor Manley Toys. Manley claimed that Radco infringed the copyright to an instruction manual for water slide toys. Radco maintained that it did not create, sell or ship the product containing the disputed instruction manual. Case was favorably resolved in confidential settlement. (C.D. Cal. 2011)

UMG Recordings, Inc., et al. v. Veoh Networks, Inc., et al.*

Represented one of primary investors in Veoh against claims for direct and vicarious copyright infringement related to the company’s investment in a Web-based company that hosts video and music. Motion to dismiss granted.

Trademark Litigation

Gogo Sports, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. and San Francisco Baseball Associates, L.P.

California co-counsel for MLB Properties and the San Francisco Giants baseball club in trademark litigation against sports clothing manufacturer over infringement of SAN FRANCISCO script mark. The defense team successfully moved to transfer venue from the Central District of California to the Northern District of California. After lengthy negotiations, the case and broader issues between the parties were resolved with a stipulated consent judgment and permanent injunction that restrained the manufacturer’s activities in order protect all other MLB club marks with geographic designations. (N.D. Cal. 2014) 

New York Racing Association v. Angels Baseball LP

Defending Angels Baseball LP against opposition proceeding brought by New York Racing Association against the baseball club’s U.S. application to register the mark THE BIG A in various classes of goods/services. The matter remains pending. (TTAB Ongoing)

Manley Toys, Ltd. v. Radco Ltd HK*

Defended Hong Kong toy manufacturer in action brought by competitor asserting trademark and trade dress infringement over name ("The Plunge" compared to "Pipeline Plunge") and design of water slide toy products. Court granted motion to dismiss in part with leave to amend trade dress claim (for failure to allege protectable trade dress) and for insufficient allegations against individual defendant. While time to amend was pending, case was favorably resolved in confidential settlement. (C.D. Cal. 2010)

Dish Network, LLC v. Fun Dish Inc., et al.*

Defended a reseller of satellite services and operator of toll-free numbers, against a lawsuit brought by brought by Dish Network, involving claims for trademark infringement, antitrust, and declaratory relief for cancellation and invalidity of trademarks. (N.D. Ohio Ongoing but no longer involved in case)

Anti-counterfeiting*

Represented Fortune 100 company in pursuing large-scale trademark infringement actions against thousands of defendants in coordinated mass actions related to defendants’ counterfeiting practices. (Multiple jurisdictions)

Internet and Domain Disputes

Crowdfund International LLC v. PleaseFund.Us Ltd.

Successfully represented domain name Registrant PleaseFund.Us Ltd in .US nexus dispute before National Arbitration Forum over whether Registrant had a sufficient nexus with United States to hold a .US domain name. Prevailed in defeating the complaint and obtained a decision finding the Registrant had a sufficient nexus with United States and was entitled to retain its.US domain name. This appears to be the first decision in a NAF proceeding focused solely on the .US Nexus Requirements. (NAF 2013)

Moore v. ICANN, et al.*

Represented eNom, Inc. in lawsuit by plaintiff alleging claims against ICANN, eNom and domain name registry for antitrust, RICO, suppression, breach of contract, and negligence related to the sale of domain names. Action dismissed. (C.D. Cal. 2008)

Class Actions

Crosby v. Laemmle Theatres, LLC

Representing theatre company in putative California class action alleging claims under the ADA and Unruh Civil Rights Act related to provision of assistive listening devices and captioning in theatres. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

Crosby v. Pacific Theatres Exhibition Corp.

Representing theatre company in putative California class action alleging claims under the ADA and Unruh Civil Rights Act related to provision of assistive listening devices in theatres. (C.D. Cal. Ongoing)

David Boorstein v. Men’s Journal, LLC

Defended magazine publisher in one of the first wave of privacy class actions under California's "Shine the Light" law—which relates to the practice of businesses sharing personal information about their customers so third parties can directly market to them. The plaintiff claimed that the Men’s Journal website Privacy Policy did not satisfy certain notice requirements in the statute. Won dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage based upon plaintiff's failure to allege any cognizable injury, and obtained precedential decisions that have been cited in other "Shine the Light" cases. After Plaintiff appealed, appellate briefing was completed, and the court announced it would rule without oral argument, case was resolved and the appeal was dismissed. (C.D. Cal.; 9th Cir. 2011-2014)

Dancer v. Los Angeles Times Communications LLC

Represent media company in putative class action alleging the company left prerecorded messages on cell phones in violation of the TCPA. (Los Angeles Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. Ongoing)

Hoang et al v. Reunion.com Inc.*

Represented leading online search and social networking site in purported class action lawsuit alleging violations of California state statute regulating ability to send email advertisements, raising issues related to CAN-SPAM preemption. Case settled. (N.D. Cal. 2011)

Sony Electronics, Inc. - Morris (Ill.); Berna (Calif.); Scafuri (N.J.); Hall (Alabama); Zeigler (Conn.); Daugherty (Tenn.); Armeen (Tenn.); Szychowski (Penn.); Ciccia (N.Y.)*

Acted as national class counsel for Sony Electronics, Inc., in series of class actions brought across the country alleging claims for strict products liability, consumer fraud, false advertising, and unfair competition related to DVD players. Three of the actions were successfully dismissed, one was resolved on an individual basis following defeat of class certification and the remaining actions were favorably resolved pursuant to a class settlement.

Patent Litigation

1st Technology, LLC v. Cake Gaming NV

Represented online gaming company in response to patent infringement lawsuit related to digital media technology. Case was resolved favorably for client without appearance. (N.D. Ill. 2012)

Gildersleeve Holdings AG, LLC v. Here Media Inc.

Defended Here Media in patent infringement action related to technology used by social networking website. Case was favorably resolved in confidential settlement. (C.D. Cal. 2011)

1st Technology, LLC v. Bodog Entertainment Group, S.A.*

Defended supplier to Bodog worldwide online gaming organization in multiple cases stemming from $50 million default judgment for patent infringement related to digital media technology. Cases in Washington battled over the Bodog trademark and seizure of 3000+ Internet domain names belonging to client – raising novel issues about whether a trademark can be involuntarily seized from its owner. After significant litigation activity, cases were favorably resolved via confidential settlement and with client domain names restored. (D. Nev.; W.D. Wash.; King Cnty. Super. Ct.)

Other Litigation

Munchkin Inc. v. Playtex Products LLC

Represented Playtex in false advertising jury trial involving advertising superiority claims as to the odor control capabilities of the parties' respective diaper pails. (C.D. Cal., 9th Cir. 2011-2013)

Eisenberg v. Lions Gate Entertainment

Defended Lionsgate against right-of-publicity and unfair-competition claims arising from the use of actor Jesse Eisenberg's name and likeness on the cover of a DVD release of the film "Camp Hell." The matter was resolved during the appeal of an order denying Lionsgate's anti-SLAPP motion (Cal. Super. Ct., Cal. Ct. App., 2013)

Bestall Management v. Todd English Enterprises, LLC

Defended celebrity chef Todd English and his company against litigation by former business advisor over amounts due under restaurant contracts. Prevailed in setting aside default obtained before representation began. Case was later favorably resolved via confidential settlement. (Los Angeles Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2011)

Zula USA, LLC v. Carolina Biological Supply Company*

Represented rights-holder to popular "The Zula Patrol" animated children’s series in litigation against its licensee for educational kits based upon the animated property (to be supplied in schools for science classes). Competing cases were filed in North Carolina and in California. The dispute involved competing claims for breach of the parties’ license agreement and violation of the parties’ respective trademark, copyright and trade secret rights. Cases were favorably resolved via confidential settlements. (C.D. Cal. and M.D.N.C. 2010)

Counseling and Transactions

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use counsel

Assisted in drafting website Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for online company providing free credit scores.

Counsel for consumer food product company

Assisted in comprehensive website audit of privacy and web data collection practices for consumer food product company; updated web site Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Internet gambling issues

Advises clients about Internet gambling issues, and impact on sweepstakes, contests, casual gaming, fantasy sports, advertising, and media activities.

Advertising and media review for Kia Motors America

Handle limited advertising, marketing, and promotions work for Kia Motors America for campaigns involving traditional media, Internet, social media, mobile platforms, user-generated content, and brand integration.
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Associate, Wildman Harrold LLP, Los Angeles, 2008-2011
  • Associate, Heller Ehrman LLP, Los Angeles, 2003-2008

Professional & Community Activities

  • Vice-Chair, Entertainment and Sports Interest Group of the Intellectual Property Section, California State Bar
  • Past Co-chair, Intellectual Property, Internet, and New Media Section, Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Southern California Rising Stars" in Intellectual Property Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2009-2011, 2013