Kelly Klaus Named Top IP Lawyer by Daily Journal

Munger, Tolles & Olson attorney Kelly M. Klaus has again been named a Top 75 Intellectual Property Attorney by the Daily Journal. Mr. Klaus has been included on the list for the last five years. Published April 9, 2014, the list recognizes attorneys who have “helped to advance technological innovation and change the law during the past year, handling work critical to the future on the entertainment, medical and technology industries.”

Mr. Klaus was noted for his role in defending the NCAA in nationwide class actions by current and former Division I college football and men’s basketball players asserting antitrust and intellectual property claims relating to NCAA rules that plaintiffs allege preclude student-athletes from being paid for the alleged use of their name, image and likeness. In re CAA Student-Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation, 09-1967 (N.D. Cal., filed May 5, 2009)

“What’s at stake is the collegiate model of athletics,” he told the Daily Journal. “[T]he schools are about … providing athletics opportunities for students, not professionals that you bid for. There are professional leagues that if somebody is not interested in that model, if they want to get paid for playing, they can go do that.”

The legal publication also highlighted Mr. Klaus’ role in representing Universal Music Publishing Group in the high-profile “dancing baby” case. The plaintiff, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, claims that Universal sent a knowingly false takedown notice to YouTube concerning a video posting, “Let’s Go Crazy #1,” which included Prince’s famous song along with images of the plaintiff’s toddler son dancing in a kitchen. Lenz v. Universal Music Group Inc. et al, 07-3783 (N.D. Cal., filed July 24, 2007)

“I think the fundamental question in the case is whether somebody who is combating really mass rampant piracy is going to be subject to a claim for damages liability where the plaintiff has absolutely no damages,” Mr. Klaus said. “Copyright owners are facing literally millions of infringers and are trying to play a game of Whack-a-Mole.”

Mr. Klaus’s practice is focused on copyright and related litigation. He has represented all of the major motion picture studios and all of the major recorded music companies in some of their highest-profile copyright litigation matters in recent years.