areas of expertise
Christopher R. Chase is a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit where he practices intellectual property, advertising, sports, and entertainment law.
He counsels entities and individuals in the advertising and entertainment industries on all aspects of their businesses, including rights clearance (such as copyright, trademark, and rights of publicity), regulatory matters, and risk assessment. He structures and negotiates creative services agreements, commercial production agreements, brand and celebrity licensing agreements, sponsorship and event promotion agreements, celebrity talent and on-camera agreements, content distribution agreements, media agreements, and content releases and licenses. He also counsels clients regarding potential and actual litigations arising out of commercials, print advertisements, sweepstakes, contests, and other promotions, magazines, films, television productions, and websites. Further, he has vast experience addressing music issues, including structuring and negotiating master use and sync licenses for commercials, video games, television productions, and films, music distribution agreements, artist/band services, appearance, and promotion agreements, and concert sponsorships.
Additionally, he works with numerous clients in the sports industry, including counseling a major sports league on branded entertainment, intellectual property, and promotional matters, advising both sponsors and properties on the structure and negotiation of sponsorship and endorsement arrangements, counseling agency clients that activate sponsors’ marketing campaigns, advising major sports apparel and footwear companies on marketing campaigns, and counseling a major University on its media rights agreement in the wake of the athletic conference realignment. Mr. Chase has been quoted in Sports Business Journal on various legal issues and is a founder of the firm's sports law group.
Mr. Chase’s practice also includes counseling entertainment, advertising, sports, media, and fashion industry clients on the clearance, selection, maintenance, and enforcement of trademarks worldwide, as well as prosecuting trademark applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and participating in actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Chase is a member of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, the Sports Lawyers Association, the International Trademark Association, and the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. He was a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Sponsorship. Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, Mr. Chase was a litigation associate at Clifford Chance Rogers & Wells LLP.
Mr. Chase is also an accomplished author. His publications include "To Shred or Not To Shred: Document Destruction Policies and the Federal Obstruction of Justice Statutes," which was cited by Chief Justice Rehnquist in the Supreme Court's seminal Arthur Andersen v. United States decision (544 U.S. 696 (2005)), "A Moral Dilemma: Morals Clauses in Endorsement Contracts", which appeared in Sports Litigation Alert (Volume 6, Issue 6, April 10, 2009), and "Fighting for What’s Left of Exclusivity: Strategies To Protect the Exclusivity of Sponsors in the Sports Industry," which appeared in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Sponsorship. Mr. Chase is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law and the Parsons New School of Design. He is admitted to practice in New York.
awards & recognition
The Legal 500 for marketing and advertising law
2013 New York-area "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine
University of North Carolina (BA, 1999)
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law (JD, magna cum laude, 2002)
- Executive Articles Editor of the Catholic University Law Review
- Interned for the Honorable S. Martin Teel, Jr. of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Working Within the Shades of Gray: Frankfurt Kurnit’s Second Annual Advertising Law Summit
Legal questions confronting in house marketing lawyers rarely elicit simple "yes" or "no" answers. (If only they did!) More often than not — to the consternation of clients working on tight deadlines — the answer is "maybe" or "it depends" or "there's a risk." How do you help your marketing clients evaluate the risks and weigh them against potential rewards?
June 8 2017
Past Speaking Engagements
INTA Annual Meeting Barcelona 2017
Donna Tobin leads a discussion on "Protection and Enforcement Options for Furniture Designs", and Christopher Chase speaks on “The Use of Trademarks in Comparative Advertising Campaigns” at the INTA annual conference in Barcelona, Spain.
May 21 2017
NYU Law: The Evolution of Intellectual Property As a Key Value Driver in Sports
Christopher Chase speaks at NYU Law’s Sports Law Colloquium on April 14th, on the topic of “The Evolution of Intellectual Property As a Key Value Driver in Sports.”
April 14 2017
Change is Good (But Only If You Know About It) - What’s Ahead for Advertising Lawyers in 2016
Advertising law is changing all the time. There are changes from regulators, self-regulators and unions. Changes from social platforms and review sites. Changes from privacy and data security czars. Changes from courts and bar committees. To clear your campaigns with confidence, you need to stay ahead of the changes.
June 8 2016
Stars In Our Eyes: Negotiating Celebrity Talent Agreements for 2020
Chris Chase speaks at the ANA Advertising Law and Policy Conference in Chicago on the panel “Stars In Our Eyes: Negotiating Celebrity Talent Agreements for 2020” with counsel from American Express, David + Goliath, and Dunkin’ Donuts.
April 7 2016
Fordham Law Entertainment Law Symposium
Christopher Chase speaks at the Fordham Law Entertainment Law Symposium on March 4, 2016 where he will address new sources of revenue for recording artists.
March 4 2016
All the Licenses You Will Encounter as an IP Attorney
Christopher Chase speaks on, "All the Licenses You Will Encounter as an IP Attorney" for the NYIPLA.
October 7 2015
“Ambush Marketing” & the 2016 Olympic Games: Drawing the Lines for Advertisers, Official Sponsors
Events like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, and Super Bowl also feature competition among brand marketers and rights holders - specifically, the high-stakes battles between non-sponsoring brands and official event sponsors. How can brands reference these events? What event symbols may marketers safely use without permission?
July 28 2015
Christopher Chase speaks at the CMO Excursion event on Winning Strategies for Sports and Live Entertainment Marketing.
May 19 2015
INTA: Sponsorship Agreements: More than Just a Trademark License
Christopher Chase moderates the Table Topic, "Sponsorship Agreements: More than Just a Trademark License" at INTA’s 2015 Annual Conference.
May 6 2015
Preparing for the Runway
Christopher Chase presents the CLE "Preparing for the Runway" at the New York City Bar Association.
March 19 2015
NYSBA Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Annual Meeting
Christopher Chase is part of the “Athletes, Attorneys and the NFL (New-Fangled Licensing)” panel at the NYSBA’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section Annual Meeting.
February 9 2015
ACC-GNY 2015 Winter Celebration
Chris Chase and Gavin McElroy attend the Association of Corporate Counsel Greater New York (ACC-GNY) 2015 Winter Celebration. Frankfurt Kurnit will receive an award in recognition of ACC-GNY sponsorship at the event.
January 29 2015
Government & Legal Affairs Council Presentation
January 22 2015
Ad Law 101: Clearance Issues Every Marketer Should Think About
Chris Chase presents "Ad Law 101: Clearance Issues Every Marketer Should Think About" to the Charlotte Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Event Location: Dressler's, 1100 Metropolitan Avenue #125, Charlotte, North Carolina.
September 17 2014
PLI Social Media Marketing Webinar
Christopher Chase moderates a webinar for PLI on Global Social Media Marketing.
July 16 2014
PLI Hot Topics in Advertising Law 2014
Christopher Chase speaks on “Adjusting Your Advertising Campaign for the International Stage” at the "PLI Hot Topics in Advertising Law" conference in New York City.
June 2 2014
City Bar Trademark Symposium
May 20 2014
The 18th Annual Fordham Sports Law Symposium
Christopher Chase speaks at the 18th Annual Fordham Sports Law Symposium.
February 14 2014
New York City Bar Association
Christopher Chase moderates panels on "Branding Issues for Sports Properties" and "Risks When Using Athletic Endorsers" at the New York City Bar Association.
September 27 2013
Variety Sports Entertainment Panel
Christopher Chase speaks on the panel "Branding the Athlete" at the Variety Sports Entertainment Summit.
August 15 2013
Protecting Athletes’ Trademark Rights and How to Stop the ‘Linsanity’ – a U.S. Perspective
Christopher Chase moderates a discussion on "Protecting Athletes’ Trademark Rights" at the annual International Trademark Association conference.
May 7 2013
Fordham Law’s Fashion Law Symposium
Christopher Chase speaks on a panel at Fordham on Fashion Law.
April 19 2013
Morality Clauses and Ethical Issues in Sports Contracting
Christopher Chase speaks on sports contracts at the Fordham Sports Law Symposium .
April 19 2013
Fordham Law National Basketball Negotiation Competition
Christopher Chase serves as a judge at the Fordham Law National Basketball Negotiation Competition.
March 16 2013
Best Practices for Brands Negotiating Sponsorship Agreements
Christopher Chase presents "Best Practices for Brands Negotiating Sponsorship Agreements" at the Promotional Marketing Association's annual Marketing Law Conference.
November 14 2012
34th Annual PMA Marketing Law Conference
Rick Kurnit, Jeffrey Greenbaum, Terri Seligman and Christopher Chase speak at the the Promotional Marketing Association's Marketing Law Conference: "Ahead of the Curve: Converging Platforms & Diverging Laws" in Chicago. Frankfurt Kurnit sponsors the event.
November 13 2012
University of Texas’ Sports and Entertainment Law Conference
Christopher Chase speaks about morals and disparagement clauses in endorsement agreements at the University of Texas' Sports and Entertainment Law Conference.
September 7 2012
Christopher Chase speaks on a New York County Lawyer’s Association panel on trademark, right of publicity, and other IP rights of sports stars at the NYCLA's headquarters.
May 17 2012
news & press
May Sports Industry News
Here's what's happening at the intersection of sports, marketing, and entertainment law.
April Sports Industry News
So much is happening at the intersection of sports, marketing, and entertainment that we've been inspired to send you summaries to help you put it all into context. Please enjoy this month's content.
Stephen Curry Spoke. Under Armour Listened. Now What?
Athletes Quarterly Publishes Christopher Chase Article on Branded Product Lines
Christopher Chase's article, “Put Your Name on It: What Athletes Need to Know About Developing an Athlete-Branded Product Line” discusses issues for athletes creating a product line using their name, likeness, or trademark. View Article
Chris Chase in Agenda
Major Media Coverage of Olympics-related “Ambush” Marketing Quotes Chris Chase
In Olympic Marketing, Smaller Brands Find Restrictions Tough
Chris Chase in Inc. Magazine
Frankfurt Kurnit in The Legal 500 2016
The Legal 500, a London-based directory of leading lawyers, listed Frankfurt Kurnit for Media, Technology & Telecom work (Marketing and Advertising) in Tier 1 and Intellectual Property work (Copyright) in its 2016 edition.
Planning to Use Olympic Participants in Your Advertising?
There's important news for marketers and agencies considering the Olympic Games in Rio: the deadline for non-sponsors to request an IOC Rule 40 "waiver" is January 27, 2016. Here's a review of Rule 40 and what you need to know to keep your Olympic-themed campaigns on track.
“Defending Your Trademark” by Christopher Chase in Athletes Quarterly
Christopher Chase in Lawyer Monthly Magazine
Best Practices In Sports And Live Entertainment Marketing
Christopher Chase was a speaker at the Forbes CMO Excursion, providing legal insight and advice for marketers seeking to establish a major sports team or entertainment personality sponsorships. Video link to his talk can be found here, starting at 2:00.
Frankfurt Kurnit in The Legal 500 2015
The Legal 500, a London-based directory of leading lawyers, recommended Frankfurt Kurnit for Media, Technology & Telecom work (Marketing and Advertising) and Intellectual Property work (Copyright) in its 2015 edition.
Crain’s Executive Moves
Frankfurt Kurnit Promotes Three to Partner
Frankfurt Kurnit Law Firm Promotes Top Advertising, Litigation, and Entertainment Lawyers to Partner
Social Media Marketers ‘Need Regular Trademark Training’
2014 Frankfurt Kurnit in The Legal 500
The Legal 500, a London-based directory of leading lawyers, recommended Frankfurt Kurnit for Media, Technology & Telecom work (Marketing and Advertising) and Intellectual Property work (Copyright) in its 2014 edition.
Marketing Mag Quotes Christopher Chase on Ambush Marketing
Marketers: Ambush the World Cup at your Own Peril
LET THE GAMES BEGIN - Last Minute Tips for Marketers to Avoid Running Afoul of Olympic Committees
Now that the "Big Game" is over, marketers are turning their attention to the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. While it is tempting to comment on and associate with big worldwide events as they are happening, bear in mind that there are rights holders that enforce and protect their rights to these events.
EA Settles Major Right of Publicity Case with Athletes
Popular video game manufacturer Electronic Arts recently settled claims brought against the company by former college athletes over EA's use of athletes' personas in its major game series, NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball.
Thirty-two Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2013
Oakley Challenges Nike
In Wake of Scandals, Marketers Should Pay Extra Attention to Morals Clauses
Federal Court Rejects Albert Einstein Right of Publicity Claim
In rejecting a right of publicity claim by Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which claims to control the rights to Albert Einstein, a California federal court has ruled that the common law right of publicity under New Jersey law has a maximum post-mortem duration of 50 years.
Right of Publicity Statute Does Not Apply to Those Who Died Before Its Enactment
An Indiana federal court has ruled that the Indiana right of publicity statute, which has the longest post-mortem period of continuing the right of publicity, does not apply to personalities who died before 1994, the year the statute was enacted.
Fighting for What is Left of Exclusivity
Maine Passes Sweeping Law Governing Marketing to Minors
The state of Maine recently enacted the "Act to Prevent Predatory Marketing Practices Against Minors", which will restrict collection of personal information from and marketing to minors. This statute could threaten any type of promotion to minors in Maine, including sweepstakes and contests.
A Moral Dilemma: Morals Clauses in Endorsement Contracts
Seeking to grab the attention of customers and break through the clutter of everyday advertising, advertisers will often work with athletes to market their goods and services.
Lanham Act - Not Right of Publicity - Provides Best Shot for the “Naked Cowboy”
Christopher Chase's article, "Lanham Act - Not Right of Publicity - Provides Best Shot for the "Naked Cowboy" appeared in various databases in the Mondaq distribution service and achieved page 1 Google placements for common search phrases.
Grown Folk’s Business
URB magazine quoted Christopher Chase in the July/August 2007 article "Grown Folk's Business".