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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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We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

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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Corbis Tells 9th Circ. Actress's Publicity Suit Preempted

June 07, 2012

Laurence Pulgram, Chair of Fenwick & West’s Copyright Litigation Group, was recently quoted in the Law360 article, “Corbis Tells 9th Circ. Actress’s Publicity Suit Preempted.”

In November 2010, actress Shirley Jones filed a class action against the digital image company Corbis Corp., alleging that a website function allowing Corbis users to search for Jones by name violated her publicity rights. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2011, with the judge ruling that Ms. Jones gave implied consent to use the photos when she walked down the red carpet.

The case is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit, with attorneys for Corbis arguing that Ms. Jones' right to a publicity lawsuit is preempted by the Copyright Act. Attorneys for Corbis also warned Jones' suit could "blow up" the photo licensing industry if it's revived.

The theory presented in Jones' lawsuit would prevent Corbis and other licensers from displaying and distributing copyrighted photos the Company has obtained without the actress's consent, said Laurence Pulgram, an attorney representing Corbis from Fenwick & West.

If a company is interested in licensing a celebrity's photo for an advertising campaign or other commercial use, it must seek the celebrity's approval directly, Pulgram said.

"Corbis is serving just as a distribution service to media, publishers and commercial users when requested," Pulgram said. "(The Internet) changed the whole landscape. This is the modern way of doing what was previously done in print catalogs.”

The Fenwick & West team representing Corbis in this matter includes Laurence F. Pulgram, Kathryn J. Fritz, Leslie A. Kramer and Theis Finlev.

View the full Law360 article.​