areas of expertise
Michael Schiffer is counsel to the Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations Group, focusing on intellectual property and advertising matters. Mr. Schiffer’s wide-ranging practice encompasses trademark and copyright law, IP and music licensing, agency and talent agreements, branded entertainment arrangements, sweepstakes and contests, network clearance and copy review.
Mr. Schiffer works with advertisers, agencies (big and small), direct marketers, photographers and videographers – helping them navigate a complex regulatory landscape and protect their rights. Mr. Schiffer drafts and negotiates traditional and interactive agency agreements for agencies and brands, including financial services companies, health care providers and retailers. He drafts and negotiates endorsement and promotional agreements for renowned artists and celebrities, and advises individual and corporate clients on how to secure and manage trademark rights. He also works with clients on managing and securing appropriate music clearances and licenses. Recently, Mr. Schiffer assisted a major software provider in its rebranding campaign, advising on SAG, Federal Trade Commission, new media, and other clearance and intellectual property-related issues. For four years running, Mr. Schiffer has also counseled a leading cellular telephone provider on all aspects of a complex, nationwide musical performance-based contest. His day-to-day practice includes copy review and advice to clients undertaking radio, television, print, industrial, Internet, and new media campaigns and promotions.
Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, Mr. Schiffer was an associate with Goodwin Procter LLP, where he advised on trademark and copyright litigations, government investigations, contractual and stockholder disputes and trial matters. He successfully defended a provider of desktop advertising software against New York Attorney General and FTC allegations of false advertising and deceptive practices. Mr. Schiffer also worked on pro bono matters, including advising a not-for-profit teen magazine on intellectual property issues and, drafting an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the Ten Commandments.
Mr. Schiffer authored "My Face or Yours? Exploring the Reality of Facial Recognition Technology," published on MediaPost; "Bull(!) in a China (Photo) Shop – Are Ads with Digitally-Altered Photos Deceptive?," published in the GALA Gazette and other publications, co-authored "No Iffs, Ands or Butts About Truth," an article about competitive advertising published in Shoot Online, and "Are Patent Cases Too Complex?," an article addressing judge v. jury fairness issues in patent litigations, published in Patent Strategy and Management.
He is admitted to the New York State bar and to the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
awards & recognition
2014 New York-area "Super Lawyer"
Recognized by The Legal 500 for Marketing & Advertising
Cornell University (BA, distinction in all subjects, 1999)
Boston College Law School (JD, cum laude, 2004)
- Senior Editor of the Law Review
- Representative of the Legal Assistance Bureau
- Intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past 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
Government & Legal Affairs Council Presentation
January 22 2015
TALK NYC Tech Madison Avenue
Michael Schiffer speaks on advertising law issues at the TALK NYC Tech Madison Avenue Event.
October 17 2012
New York Technology Council - Social Media
Michael Schiffer speaks on the panel, "Social Media Dos and Don'ts: Legal Compliance You Will Like" at Eisner Amper.
April 12 2012
16 Hour Bridge The Gap: Ethics, Skills & More
Michael Schiffer speaks on social media and advertising at the Bridge the Gap Program at the New York City Bar Center.
November 30 2011
You Are What You Tweet
Michael Schiffer presents "You Are What You Tweet" at the ERA's 2011 D2C Convention in Las Vegas.
September 13 2011
news & press
Thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2016
Super Lawyers listed thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2016 edition.
Thirty-seven Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2015
Super Lawyers listed thirty-eight Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2015 edition.
Thirty-four Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2014
Super Lawyers listed thirty-five Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2014 edition.
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.
Ad-ID Deadline for SAG-AFTRA Commercials is April 1
As of April 1, 2014, all commercials produced under the SAG-AFTRA contract featuring SAG-AFTRA talent must incorporate the Ad-ID coding mechanism, developed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers in 2003, for commercial tracking and calculating appropriate payments.
Thirty-two Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2013
JPC and SAG-AFTRA Tentative Deal Terms
The Joint Policy Committee and SAG-AFTRA reached a tentative deal on a new Commercials Contract. If approved, the deal will then be presented to SAG-AFTRA's full membership for ratification.
Steps To Consider As SAG-AFTRA Contract Expiration Nears
As we enter the new year, agencies and brands have no doubt heard lots of talk about the impending March 31, 2013 expiration of the SAG commercials contract, AFTRA commercials contract and AFTRA radio contract, and the potential for a strike. What are the implications of this deadline, and what can advertisers do now to prepare?
What Facebook and Instagram Changes Mean to Advertisers
Over the past few days and weeks the press has spilled a lot of ink about Facebook's, and its newly acquired company, Instagram's, revised privacy, advertising and other policies. Whether or not the recent policy changes are significant is yet to be determined, but what is clear is that the public is actually paying attention and that the changes may affect how advertisers can use these platforms.
FTC Recommends Best Practices for Using Facial Recognition Technology
In an effort to stay ahead of the technology curve, the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a staff report on advertisers' use of facial recognition technology.
My Face or Yours? Exploring The Reality of Facial Recognition Tech
Online Media Daily published Michael Schiffer's article about the evolving technology of facial recognition software and how much it can be used before upsetting consumers and regulators.
Michael Schiffer Featured in GALA Gazette
The Gala Gazette featured Michael Schiffer in an article about the use of digital alterations in advertising and how they may be subject to FTC regulations on unfair and deceptive practices.
SAG and AFTRA Unions Merge
On March 30, 2012, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced that they merged into a single union. This new union, SAG-AFTRA, will now oversee the services of over 150,000 actors, recording artists, stunt performers and other media professionals.
Michael Schiffer Featured on New York City Bar Website
Michael Schiffer in Electronic Retailer
Electronic Retailer's Magazine quoted Michael Schiffer on how a photoshopped ad can turn into a regulatory issue for ad agencies and their brands.
CVS to Pay FTC $5 Million to Settle Deceptive Pricing Charges
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced that CVS Caremark Corporation will pay $5 million to settle claims that it misrepresented the actual prices of certain Medicare drugs.
Twenty-four Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named 2012 NY-Area “Super Lawyers”
Super Lawyers listed twenty-four Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2012 edition.
Measuring Buzz: Best Practices for “Social Listening”
Today advertisers are not only mastering the art of speaking through social media channels, they are also exploring ways to listen and learn. But while "social listening" or "social media monitoring" can yield valuable market data, these practices also raise privacy and ethical concerns.
ERA Unveils Education Line-up at 2011 D2C Convention
Advertising Agency Settles Multi-State Attorney General Investigation
Advertising agency Action Integrated Marketing recently entered into a settlement agreement with ten attorneys general, resolving allegations that the advertising agency created advertisements that misled consumers about the origins of cars that it was advertising.
FTC Gives Public More Time to Comment on New Privacy Paradigm
The original deadline for public comments on the Federal Trade Commissions 122-page staff report on privacy, "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change", was January 31, 2011. But because of the nature and complexity of the questions raised, a number of organizations petitioned the FTC for an extension of time in which to comment.
FTC Releases Report Proposing New Framework for Consumer Data
In an attempt to address consumer privacy interests and to "inform policymakers, including Congress, as they develop solutions, policies, and potential laws governing privacy," the Federal Trade Commission issued a comprehensive preliminary staff report raising concerns that despite industry self-regulatory measures, many marketers either do not disclose their data practices or disclose them in unintelligible manner.
FTC Settles with Company About Disclosure of Information Collection Practices
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") recently announced that EchoMetrix, Inc. settled FTC charges that it failed to adequately inform parents that it made their children’s information available to third-party marketers. EchoMetrix sold a software product that allowed parents to monitor their children’s online behavior.
Ad Groups Announce Self Regulatory Program Regarding Behavioral Ads
A group of the nation’s leading marketers and advertisers announced today further details about a self regulatory program aimed at giving consumers some control over their privacy and the online advertisements they receive. Using behavioral targeting techniques, advertisers send consumers targeted ads based on Web browsing behavior.
FTC Subpoenas Marketers of Children’s Food and Beverages
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission began issuing subpoenas to 48 children’s food and beverage marketers seeking data about advertising practices and marketing expenditures dedicated to children. The FTC previously announced that it would be taking this action last May.
PR Firm Settles FTC Charges Regarding Misleading Endorsements
In an important enforcement action following up on the revisions to the endorsement and testimonial guidelines issued last year, the Federal Trade Commission announced today a settlement with a public relations firm, Reverb Communications, Inc., for what the FTC alleges are deceptive advertising practices.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Update
On June 2, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a public roundtable in Washington, D.C. regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Jeffrey A. Greenbaum, a partner in our Advertising Group, participated in the roundtable.
FTC Revises Endorsement and Testimonial Guidelines
Today the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has approved revisions to its "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". The guides were last updated in 1980.
FCC Exploring Marketing Practices in Cellular Industry
The Federal Communications Commission recently issued three notices of inquiry, each of which could potentially have a significant impact on the mobile communications industry.
Humor and Claim Substatiation
Two advertisers recently received a little more leeway to flex their collective funny bone–even when competitors were the butt of their jokes.