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For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

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At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

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Game Over: Fenwick & West Sends Copyright Case Back to the Grave

October 22, 2008

Fenwick & West today announced it has won a motion to dismiss, with prejudice, all copyright, trademark and related claims asserted by the MKR Group, holder of the rights in the 1979 horror film George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, against its longtime client Capcom, a worldwide developer and distributor of video games including the wildly popular Dead Rising, the video game at issue in the litigation. Both the film and the game feature humans battling hordes of flesh-eating zombies in a suburban shopping mall during a massive zombie outbreak.

MKR originally threatened to sue Capcom while Dead Rising was still in development, claiming the game bore too many similarities to Dawn of the Dead. Though Capcom disagreed with MKR’s position that the game and the movie shared any similarities protectable under copyright or trademark law, it took the precautionary measure of including a prominent disclaimer on Dead Rising’s packaging upon the game's release in August 2006, disavowing any affiliation with the film or its owners. The MKR Group nonetheless continued to threaten suit.

Settlement negotiations dragged on for over a year with other counsel when Capcom's internal legal team sought out the counsel of Fenwick & West partner Rodger Cole and newly-elected partner Jennifer Kelly. After MKR again threatened to sue Capcom, as well as its business partners, Microsoft and Best Buy, Capcom took action, filing a complaint for declaratory relief in the Northern District of California on February 12, 2008. Capcom's complaint sought a declaration that Dead Rising does not infringe any copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property rights belonging to MKR because any similarities between Dead Rising and Dawn of the Dead are based on the wholly unprotectable idea of humans battling zombies in a shopping mall, and that its distribution, marketing and promotion of Dead Rising is not likely to confuse consumers as to the source or origin of the game or to dilute any alleged distinctiveness of any trademarks held by MKR, particularly in light of the disclaimer.

MKR, in turn, filed a third party complaint and counterclaims against Capcom claiming copyright infringement, violations of the Lanham Act and assorted violations centered on trademark infringement, unfair competition, misappropriation, and dilution. Capcom filed a motion to dismiss all of MKR's claims on June 11, 2008. Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg granted the motion, in its entirety, on October 20, 2008, dismissing all claims with prejudice on the basis that amendment would be futile.

Partner Rodger Cole said, "Much thanks and credit goes to the team including Jennifer Kelly and Marybeth Milionis who took over a muddled situation against a well-funded opponent and achieved victory on all substantive legal issues. We sought to protect our client against unfounded claims in a challenging venue and thanks to our imaginative defense, we did."

Fenwick & West's litigation team consisted of litigation partner Rodger Cole, newly-elected partner Jennifer Kelly and associate Marybeth Milionis.


About the Fenwick & West Intellectual Property Litigation Group

Fenwick & West attorneys have handled some of the most prominent IP litigation over the past two decades, including securing one of the largest IP litigation settlements of 2005—a $400M settlement for its client Compuware against IBM—and one of the largest patent verdicts of the past eighteen months, a $74.7M patent litigation verdict for client Asyst Technologies against Jenoptik. The firm is ranked by Managing Intellectual Property as one of the top five West coast firms for IP litigation, by IP Worldwide as one of the top dozen firms that Fortune 500 companies relied on for IP litigation, and was recently awarded "Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm" by American Lawyer Media for the firm's proprietary electronic discovery tools.

Press Contacts:

Rodger Cole
Partner, Litigation Group
650.335.7603
rcole@fenwick.com

Jennifer Kelly
Associate, Litigation Group
415.875.2426
jkelly@fenwick.com