The Daily Journal has named Manatt’s Michelle Cooke, co-chair of the firm’s intellectual property practice, and Robert Jacobs, co-chair of the firm’s entertainment, sports and media litigation practice, as two of the top intellectual property attorneys in California for 2017. Each year, the publication highlights California lawyers who have made a significant impact in the field, showcasing the impressive and diverse accomplishments of those who are advancing the state’s leadership in intellectual property law.
In its profile of Cooke, the publication highlighted her ongoing work on the Despicable Me franchise for Universal City Studios LLC. As one of the company’s go-to lawyers, she helps develop and implement trademark enforcement strategies and multijurisdictional disputes. Cooke led negotiations for two multijurisdictional matters in the past year that involved multiple countries, achieving “favorable arrangements” in both. “When you think of a global agreement and because trademark rights are country-specific, you have to establish your trademark rights country by country,” she said. Cooke also stated that the international aspect of her practice is one of the things that has kept her engaged in this space throughout her career.
The publication spotlights Jacobs’ work in helping the music industry’s most prominent recording artists navigate complex, high-profile intellectual property disputes. He served as lead counsel for seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist Kendrick Lamar in a copyright infringement suit stemming from his alleged use of Bill Withers’ “Don’t Want You to Stay” in his song “I Do This.” Jacobs described the lawsuit as a relatively straightforward sampling case, stating, “The long story short is that we were able to speak rationally with one another, with the help of a judge…Fortunately, we didn’t need to engage in discovery, and it didn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process.” Jacobs also successfully defended Justin Timberlake’s work in a copyright infringement lawsuit over his use of a 1973 R&B track in his song “Suit & Tie.”