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Kimbrough & Associés

Paris, France

Intellectual Property

Examples of our activities in the following areas of Intellectual Property:

Copyright and Related Rights

Our firm has a particular expertise in the area of protection of literary and artistic works, providing advice as well as representation before the courts. Our clients include not only authors and performers, their successors-in-interest and associations which represent them, but also those exploiting works, in particular, production companies and publishers.

Examples of Matters Relating to Intellectual Property and Copyright :

Graphic and Plastic Arts :

  • Drafting of a contract between a French artist and a Japanese art gallery, for the future supply of oil paintings to be created by the French artist.
  • Negotiation of a contract on the digitalization of graphic and plastic artworks for public dissemination and handling by various operators.
  • Advice to a leading American software company regarding the rights to artwork for digitalization.
  • Legal analysis of contracts involving transfer of rights to the logo of a French airline.
  • Advice to a Ministry of the French Government on the assembly and dissemination of information for a documentation center
  • Advice on the drafting of a standard contract for commissioning photographers to submit their works to State, Departments, Municipalities and other Government entities in France.
  • Advice to an artist of graphic and plastic art as to legal means of prohibiting unauthorized reproductions and exhibitions of his sculpture.
  • Advice to a fashion designer in litigation against a company manufacturing copies of her creations.
  • Advice to a photographer in his dispute with two publishers: one did not fulfill its payment commitments or submit accounting records; the other published the photographer's book using another photographer's work on the cover.
  • Counsel to a Paris department store regarding the acquisition of copyright to its logo, in the framework of a contract with the heirs of the logo's American creator.
  • Negotiation of a settlement agreement between a photographer and a French company in a dispute over the unauthorized use of photographs in an advertising campaign.
  • Legal audits of filings and registrations of contracts relating to rights associated with trademarks, patents, designs and models, logos, know-how and copyright in the area of computers and artistic creations, and confidentiality agreements entered into pursuant to such agreements.
  • Representation of an American company, a leader in the area of digitalization of graphic works, in its acquisition of a French photograph agency of international reputation, including due diligence, negotiation and drafting of agreements.
  • Representation of an American company, a leader in the area of digitalization of graphic works, in its litigation with a French distributor of its CD-ROMs, in the context of insolvency proceedings regarding the distributor.
  • Assistance to a French photograph agency in the context of a dispute between the agency and its photographers regarding rights to originals of their photographs.
  • Representation of a publisher in a litigation with a photographer concerning the reproduction of photographs in one of its publications.
  • Representation of an organization representing the interests of a well-known deceased photographer in a claim for royalties due from a film producer who used photographs of such photographer in a film production without authorization.
  • Representation of an American company in litigation instituted by a recognized French public figure against the company and a leading French magazine, for unauthorized publication of a photograph of such public figure owned by the company and licensed for publication to the magazine.

Audiovisual Works :

  • Advice to a cable distributor in negotiating and drafting contracts with collective societies for administration of cinema and audiovisual rights
  • Advice to cable distribution agencies regarding mandatory payment of royalties on cinema and audiovisual rights in the case of installation of collective TV antennas for cable distribution of programs also distributed by regular television stations.
  • Drafting of a contract for scenario writers in negotiations with a film producer.
  • Counsel to a German film distributor concerning the consequences of its failure to register with the Public Cinematographic Registry a contract for the transfer of rights to release a film in Germany, following public auction of the rights to such film in France.
  • Legal assistance to an American company concerning rights to a French literary work for the purpose of a television remake.
  • French law opinion on the means to determine the scope of copyrights held by a French company on its adaptations of educational products produced by an American company, given the terms of the contract transferring all rights to such products to the American company.
  • Representation of a model whose photograph, taken from a television commercial film, was used, without authorization, on postcards and record jackets by a leading French soft drink manufacturer, and negotiation of a settlement agreement.
  • Assistance to a Canadian television production company investigating the possible unauthorized copying in France of its programs.

Literary Works

  • Representation of the heirs of a world-famous American novelist of the 20th century in a case involving the unauthorized publication, by a Swiss publisher, of the author's best-selling work. The case, based on the term of copyright of an American work under French copyright laws, was decided in favor of the heirs, and became the subject of scholarly commentary in legal publications.
  • Advice to an American theater producer wishing to obtain rights to adapt two literary works by a French author of this century, subject of a film of the past decade, for an English-language theatrical production.
  • Ongoing assistance to a French Ministry concerning intellectual property rights relating to schoolbooks and other educational materials published by such Ministry..
  • Counsel to a prominent French publisher (i) to determine whether the members of a collective organization, and/or the organization itself, is the appropriate recipient of copyright royalties and (ii) regarding the publisher's possible membership in such an organ
  • Advice to an author in defense of his rights against a publisher, which failed to fulfill its contractual obligations.
  • Representation of an author and a well-known publisher in litigation against the publisher of a book containing parts of such author's work without authorization.
  • Assistance to an author in his conclusion of an agency contract for the United States market.

Musical Works

  • Assistance to an internationally known American company with regard to the legal system in France of licenses to use advertising jingle music identifying the company and its products.
  • Representation of American collective organizations, representing approximately 90% of performing artists in the United States, in a litigation to recover, for the benefit of such performing artists; sums paid in France to collective organizations (i) for private copying, and (ii) for equitable remuneration.

General :

  • Action on behalf of UNESCO in setting up and implementing national and international standards for copyright regulations; participation in a number of international conferences and discussions with various government and non-government representatives relating to the development of such standards and the establishment of same.
  • Assistance to a company belonging to a large industrial group in the field of civil and military aviation, relating to its intellectual property rights in aircraft operating and maintenance manuals used by purchasers of the aircraft, which it puts on CD-ROMs and online, and which it generates on the basis of information communicated to it by the aircraft manufacturer.
  • Assistance to a company with regard to the production of CD ROMs by a third party for distribution to its customers for the purpose of demonstrating the design features of its products.
  • Study on the basis for proportional remuneration of authors under French law.
  • Study on the protection of foreign works in France.
  • Several studies on exceptions, private copying and quotation.