If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  Events 

To ensure delivery, please add newsletter@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Legal Bisnow
Real EstateTechAssociationMedicalThe SceneWomen
    October 16, 2008  
Williams & Connolly;
Hogan & Hartson

A big shout-out to great new sponsor the Marymount University! Don’t miss their Business Programs Information Luncheon this Fri, Oct 17. See ad to the right for more details or click here!


Wondering what to add to your Netflix queue? How about Williams & Connolly litigator Howard Gutman’s movie vehicle Noise, now on video, where he does a turn as Tim Robbins’s lawyer?


The flick, also starring William Hurt and Bridget Moynahan, is a black comedy about a man driven mad by the noise in New York City. The gig came through Noise writer/director Henry Bean, who once saw Howard conduct a six-hour oral argument in S.D.N.Y. Bean was involved in the HBO series K Street, and put in a call to Howard when one of the storylines called for a Washington lawyer. A hobby was born, and now Howard has his very own Screen Actors’ Guild card.


We hung around to catch a little of Howard’s reel—the scene playing on the monitor comes from his three-episode arc on K Street. (From what we saw, he holds his own against Carville.) For Noise, Howard spent two weekends filming in New York, where he bonded with Robbins over ice hockey (both play) and Democratic politics. Actually, Robbins had just emailed Howard about going to an Obama campaign event when we dropped in on him. He’ll be expanding his acting range from lawyer to high school teacher with the remake of Fame this winter . . . provided, of course, his day job doesn’t get in the way.  

Dot What?!

Eric Fingerhut, partner at Howrey, Internet expert, and IP watchdog for brands like Lexus and Toshiba, tells us there’s about to be an explosion of new “top-level Internet domains.” A resolution passed this June by the Internet’s governing organization, ICANN, would allow generic domains (like .travel) and branded ones (.bisnow!), and even though there’s an “objection-based mechanism” under which brands can prevent others from using their names, Eric says brand owners are still “freaking out.” Why? The cost of protecting trademarks on the existing domains is already high—keeping your company’s name off adult sites, for instance, or “pay-per-click” sites that draw users in with a brand name then link to a competing product—and now there will be endless new frontiers to police. You could soon be finding your Web addresses at .lawfirm or .booze. Not that those have anything to do with each other.


Eric’s showing us some three-dimensional trademark infringement here (“Lexus” cranberry juice—wonder if it tastes like motor oil), but since ’95 he’s made a specialty of policing trademarks in cyberspace. And what does Apple do about an application for the generic .apple? Criteria for buying new top-level domains (TLDs) are still unknown, but Eric says ICANN is expected to release draft RFPs for new TLDs (prepared, we presume, with great TLC) at its November meeting in Cairo. The TLDs mean revenue for companies that maintain them (registries) and register specific sites (registrars), and Eric isn’t sure the outcry from brand owners will have much impact. It could be seen as part of a trend in which trademark holders are being saddled with sole responsibility to protect them in cyberspace—as in this summer’s S.D.N.Y. litigation holding that eBay hadn’t infringed Tiffany’s mark despite generalized knowledge that some counterfeit Tiffany goods were offered on its site. 

Hogan Gets Artsy

For those feeling sorry for themselves over the stock market, Hogan & Hartson offered some perspective last week in the form of a photography exhibit by Taisie Berkeley, left. Her 30-piece collection capturing scenes of women in poverty in India was brought in by Hogan partner Marcia Wiss, right, co-head of the firm’s India group. Marcia tells us the group was ranked third among law firms by Bloomberg for “India announced” M&A work in Q1 ‘08—recently helping a company from the Tata Group (which also owns Jaguar and Land Rover) buy U.S.-based General Chemical Industrial Products for a cool billion.


Hogan’s managing partner of operations and general counsel Sandy Mayo, right, is a friend of Taisie’s and brought her to the attention of the firm. We caught him and finance lawyer Ben Hammond enjoying the scene in the firm’s Fulbright Room. It’s named after the late Arkansas Senator, who came to Hogan after leaving Congress, and provided an extra connection to the exhibit: Taisie took the photos while on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2005.

John Ford is Bisnow’s Legal Editor. Hit him up with story ideas at john@bisnow.com.

Marymount University
Andrews Kurth
Advertise With Bisnow

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. ? 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1323 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email Legal Bisnow Sent Using iContact