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    July 17, 2008  

Arent Fox;
Dow Lohnes;
Jenner & Block

D.C.’s Most Animated Lawyer

While Pixar racks up box-office gold ($136M so far) with WALL-E, its latest big-screen wonder, we uncovered a vital connection to the animation studio’s success right on Connecticut Avenue: Arent Fox’s IP star Tony Lupo. He’s cleared the IP content of every Pixar movie released in the last ten years.


No surprise that a guy involved in Hollywood work is a creative type—those paintings in the background are his doing, and the funky Philco RV set is actually operational. He got the Pixar gig through Steve Jobs, who recommended him based on Tony’s work for Apple, including securing rights to the “iMac” and “iTunes” names. For Pixar, he makes sure that nothing in the film—from the script itself to tiny visual details—infringes any IP holders’ rights. On Cars, for instance, he worked with Pixar designers to make sure the animated cars didn’t resemble any real-life models, except where Tony secured permissions from manufacturers. The movies take three to four years to go from green light to screen, and Tony and his team get brought in to look at the earliest storyboards. And since Disney bought Pixar for a cool $7.4 billion, Tony has started doing discrete assignments for the Mouse as well.


His office brims with mementos from Pixar work, plus IP curiosities like a bag of “Happytos” he found in Southeast Asia (we suspect Doritos would not approve). Even without Pixar or Apple, Tony might have the most fun client list in town: Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Sony Playstation, and Google all use the services of Tony and colleagues Jennifer Donohue, Sara Bruno, and Emily Mechem. And then there are the dead celebrities; he works licensing deals for the use of Steve McQueen, the Wright Brothers, and one of the top-earning celebrity names out there, Albert Einstein.

Privacy Forum: Top Secret!


Union Station’s discretely tucked away Columbus Club made a perfect venue for a forum last week on Privacy in the Digital Age. We caught Jonathan Hart, partner in Dow Lohnes’s media and IT group, just before joining a panel with reps from Comcast, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and CTIA: The Wireless Association, on legal privacy issues raised by technology like social networking websites and wireless services. Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX) keynoted the event hosted by CQ, which drew 150. Jonathan, author of BNA’s Internet Law: A Field Guide, filed an amicus brief for Intel in the Supreme Court’s famous Grokster case and tells us one of the hottest issues at the moment is the FTC’s pending decision on whether to regulate “behavioral-targeted advertising” on the Internet. Those are the ads aimed to your personal interests, which may explain why we’ve been flooded with offers for knock-off Pulitzers.

Jenner Gets Damages Man


Jenner’s new office is so nice we can’t seem to stay away from the place. This time, we found ourselves at the NY Avenue address to see the firm’s latest lateral partner splash, Eric Jackson, the veteran litigator (but still plenty youthful at 42) formerly with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. Eric often puts on proof of damages in IP litigation, as in pending Northern District of California litigation for client AMD (a chip-maker) against Samsung, with billions of dollars of sales at issue. He got introduced to Jenner through partner Dave DeBruin, working together on the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Committee and the Law Firm Clinic Subcommittee. (Apropos, as Jenner was just named the #1 firm in pro bono work by American Lawyer.) Robins Kaplan decided to close its DC office last year, beginning a long flirtation between Eric and the firm until he wrapped up affairs, clearing the way for the deciding partnership vote on his offer in late June.

McGuire Woods
Andrews Kurth
Cardinal Bank
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