Tom J. Ferber joined Pryor Cashman in 1982 and has been a partner at the firm since 1991. His major practice area is litigation, including commercial, intellectual property and entertainment litigation. Tom represents a variety of clients in the entertainment, publishing and other industries in copyright infringement, trademark, trade dress, false advertising, unfair competition, right of publicity, privacy and defamation actions. He also counsels clients in risk evaluation in these areas and strategies for minimizing exposure.
Tom’s recent victories include winning summary judgment for Sylvester Stallone, Lions Gate Films and Nu Image/Millennium Films in a copyright infringement claims against the action film “The Expendables,” winning a motion to dismiss unfair competition and trademark claims against the motion picture “50/50,” and winning dismissal of a copyright claim against Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Tom has also served as counsel to an A-list motion picture producer in connection with a complex copyright claim concerning an Academy Award-nominated film, has represented two major television production entities and a major network on a misappropriation of idea claim in California, and has defended an international toy manufacturer in a copyright action in Illinois. He has also represented the rights owner of a major film franchise in a dispute concerning remake and sequel rights.
Tom has served as counsel to film studios, production entities, networks and broadcasters on matters ranging from defamation and violation of the right of publicity to a claim of producer “attachment” to a film project. Tom’s reported cases include a Lanham Act and copyright action brought on behalf of best-selling author David Baldacci in which Tom won a preliminary injunction preventing a publisher from proceeding with the publication of a mystery anthology, including a story by Mr. Baldacci, based on the book’s misleading marketing.
Tom also won affirmances in related actions from the Second Circuit and the New York State Appellate Division of orders granting summary judgment to the maker of “SoBe” premium beverages, brought by the makers of “Arizona Iced Tea,” alleging, among other things, a variety of trademark and trade secret violations. Tom has also won a preliminary injunction and a rare “recall order” of a record album on copyright infringement grounds.
Tom successfully served as trial and appellate counsel in a false light invasion of privacy action with important First Amendment implications concerning a “docudrama” motion picture about the early genesis of the Black Panther Party.
Tom has litigated precedent-setting cases in his field, including defending MGM/UA and Alberto Grimaldi on Ginger Rogers’ claim concerning Federico Fellini’s Ginger & Fred, which resulted in a seminal decision concerning the conflict between the Lanham Act and the First Amendment.
Tom has frequently represented film studios in copyright infringement actions, including cases concerning films such as Run Fatboy Run, Brokeback Mountain, Elf, The Island, John Q, Groundhog Day, Seven, Ghostbusters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The American President and Driving Miss Daisy. He has also represented record labels in music copyright infringement cases and royalty disputes.
Most recently, Tom contributed the chapter on New York law to the Oxford University Press, USA treatise Entertainment Law (2011), which analyzes New York state and federal authorities on subjects including copyright infringement, idea misappropriation, publicity and privacy rights, and defamation, among others. Tom also served on the faculty on PLI’s Advanced Seminar on Copyright Law and on bar association and other panels addressing current issues in intellectual property law. Tom was also named as a top intellectual property litigator in The Legal 500 and New York Super Lawyers.
Tom is frequently called upon by the press to comment upon intellectual property, litigation and other matters. To read samples of such press coverage, please click here.
For a more detailed description of cases in which Tom has won victories for his clients, please click here.
Tom is a 1982 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Topics Editor of the American Criminal Law Review.