Allison L. Rapp

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Associate

allison@lutzker.com

(202) 408-7600 ext. 4

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PRACTICE AREAS

Copyright
Trademarks and Unfair Competition
Litigation
Internet and New Media
Entertainment and the Arts
Small Business

EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. (2002)
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, B.A. (1993)

BAR ADMISSIONS

Maryland

Allison Rapp practices intellectual property law in the areas of litigation, transactions, rights-acquisition and rights-management. She brings to her legal practice a depth and range of experience that enables her to offer sound advice and representation throughout the life cycle of an intellectual property and a creative, out-of-the-box approach to implementing new ventures and resolving disputes.

In her litigation and disputes practice, Ms. Rapp represents clients in Federal court and before administrative tribunals in cases involving the infringement of copyrights, trademarks, trade dress and publicity rights; in false advertising and domain name disputes; and in opposition, cancellation and appeals proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office. She also represents clients in appellate and rulemaking proceedings before the United States Copyright Office. She has a wide variety of experience in complex civil procedural issues.

Ms. Rapp has extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of copyright and trademark law, including the identification and protection of authorship; strategic branding and trademark portfolio development; trademark due diligence; the existence of infringement; and the protection and exploitation of trade dress, trade secrets, business ideas and commercial aspects of personal identity. She manages the prosecution of trademark applications in the U.S. and abroad and has negotiated numerous licenses, coexistence agreements and other agreements for the acquisition or exploitation of intellectual property. She has particular expertise in the protection of non-traditional intellectual properties and the interplay between intellectual property rights and the First Amendment. Ms. Rapp enjoys helping clients evaluate options for structuring new ventures in both for-profit and nonprofit contexts.

Prior to joining Lutzker & Lutzker, Ms. Rapp worked in media and marketing with Sony Music Entertainment. She credits that experience with enhancing her grasp of clients’ business objectives, which she believes should always inform legal strategy.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Litigating in federal court on behalf of plaintiffs, including:
  • 88 LLC, a D.C. area multi-media production company, in a copyright and breach of contract suit against the Army contractor which had engaged it to create video modules to educate soldiers, their families and medics about traumatic brain injuries.
  • Legendary soul singer Sam Moore in a trademark and right of publicity lawsuit concerning the use of Mr. Moore’s name, likeness and other indicia of persona in connection with the 2008 film Soul Men. An appellate brief is pending before the Sixth Circuit.
  • Los Angeles screenwriter Yolanda Buggs against DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures, alleging copyright infringement of a screenplay she wrote as a graduate student at the American Film Institute.
  • The creators of the award-winning STOMP ROCKETĀ® toy in federal court against the manufacturers/importers and distributors of a knock-off, and also against national retailer Toys “R” Us, Inc. following that chain’s sale of a similar air rocket toy under an allegedly infringing name.
  • Fine artist and jewelry designer Mary Buck, whose copyrighted works were used without permission by Vera Wang’s company in a national advertising campaign.
  • Litigating in federal court on behalf of defendants, including:
  • An early market leader in the field of contextual marketing (“pop-up ad”) services in federal court against allegations of trademark infringement, copyright infringement and unfair competition.
  • Nextel Communications (now Sprint), the first-to-market user of the term PUSH-TO-TALK for walkie-talkie-style half duplex telecommunications services, in a genericness challenge brought by Verizon (as co-counsel).
  • Music Makers Holdings LLC in a trademark infringement dispute with the operator of a New York music school over ownership and use of the mark BACH TO ROCK for music education services, and in a related acquisition of pre-existing rights to the mark from a third party.
  • Managing the trademark portfolio and trademark enforcement program of a large provider of telecommunications, ISP, online entertainment, and advertising services, including:
  • Successfully resolving disputes with the owners of competing marks and domain names, both in litigated proceedings and through out-of-court settlements.
  • Working with marketing executives to select new brand names and manage associated risks.
  • Reviewing proposed advertisements to identify and mitigate defensive risk.
  • Negotiating trademark licenses and complex co-existence agreements.
  • Providing strategic support for new corporate initiatives.
  • Advising clients starting new ventures on matters such as choice of entity, organizational governance, the allocation of control, non-competition and conflict-of-interest clauses, and the ownership and use of intellectual properties during the term of a venture and beyond.
  • Representing a small pharmaceuticals company seeking to register HERPASIL for medicated creams and balms, in a trademark opposition by a large consumer products company with established rights in HERPECIN-L for lip balm.
  • Successfully appealing a refusal by the United States Copyright Office to register copyright in the encrypted code within the legendary sculpture Kryptos, created by artist Jim Sanborn and displayed at CIA headquarters in Virginia.
  • Successfully resolving a dispute between a national seller of turnkey dry cleaning establishments and a long-term non-exclusive trademark licensee who was seeking, on various grounds, to block the licensure of additional establishments in his region.
  • Producing an in-depth analysis of copyright claims in medical and scientific works arising out of federally funded research and developing strategies for making such works available on an open access basis to researchers and the public at large.
  • Obtaining an exemption from District of Columbia real property tax on behalf of a nonprofit arts organization, the Dance Institute of Washington, where the property was owned by one organization and used by another.
  • Overcoming a genericness challenge by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to federal registration of The Shakespeare Theatre Company trademark.
  • Successfully resolving a false advertising dispute regarding use of the wording “Official Yellow Pages” in connection with telephone directories in a multi-distributor market.
  • Filing numerous amici briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeal on behalf of national library and educational associations in cases concerning provisions of copyright law that govern copyright term and the rights of freelance authors.
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