areas of expertise
Craig B. Whitney is a partner in the Litigation group, with a focus on copyright, trademark and trade secret disputes.
Mr. Whitney handles copyright, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity, false advertising and patent disputes, protecting valuable intellectual property rights from would-be infringers and defending clients against wrongful accusations of infringement. He also advises clients on brand management and licensing. He oversees internal and administrative intellectual property investigations and class action litigation defense. Mr Whitney prosecutes domestic and foreign trademark applications as well. He actively assists clients in navigating the rapidly evolving landscape of intellectual property law.
Mr. Whitney’s representative work includes a landmark victory clarifying copyright fair use and parody on behalf of several well-known musicians; a defense win dismissing copyright infringement claims brought by a putative class of attorneys against the leading legal research websites; a favorable outcome for a high-end beauty products company in a trademark and trade dress action against a manufacturer of knock-off products; a district and appellate court decision dismissing all claims by a proposed class against an international bank for alleged violations of, among other things, the Federal False Marking Act, RICO and the CAN-SPAM Act; and counseling prominent art museums and galleries on domestic and international copyright issues.
Mr. Whitney is a graduate of Cornell University (BS) and Harvard Law School (JD, cum laude). Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Stephen V. Wilson in the United States District Court of the Central District of California. He is admitted to practice in New York and California.
awards & recognition
2016 - 2017 Super Lawyer in New York-area for Intellectual Property Litigation
Cornell University (BS)
Harvard Law School (JD, cum laude)
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Advanced Trademark Law 2018: Current Issues
Craig Whitney presents Protecting “The Look”: Cross disciplinary IP protection of designs and trade dress post-Star Athletica, including nuts and bolts of registering product configurations and other trade dress as trademarks for the Practising Law Institute's Trademark Law program. More information can be found here.
March 14 2018
Past Speaking Engagements
A Review of the Supreme Court’s Star Athletica Decision and “What Now”
Craig Whitney presents A Review of the Supreme Court's Star Athletica Decision and "What Now" at the American Intellectual Property Law Association's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
October 19 2017
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
AIPLA Annual Meeting 2016
Craig Whitney speaks on “The Software Innovation and Protection Dilemma — Guidance Please! Copyrights and Patents” at the AIPLA annual meeting in DC. More here.
October 28 2016
The Fair Use Defense: Is It Fair?
Craig Whitney moderates a panel on Copyright Fair Use titled “The Fair Use Defense: Is It Fair?” at the AIPLA Spring Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.
May 19 2016
news & press
Star Athletica: Finding for Fashion
The New York State Bar Association published Craig B. Whitney and Rachel Santori’s article, " Star Athletica: Finding for Fashion" in the Summer 2017 edition of their publication, Bright Ideas. (Article behind paywall)
3 Big Questions For The Statue Of Liberty Copyright Fight
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.
Bloomberg Law Brief: Craig Whitney on Copyright Case
Supreme Court Supports Copyright Protection for Fashion and Industrial Designs
On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands that copyright law can protect designs on cheerleading uniforms.
Thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2016
Super Lawyers listed thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2016 edition.
Supreme Court Rules on Availability of Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases
In the US, attorneys' fees generally are not available to the winning party unless authorized by statute or the parties have agreed to permit a fee award. Copyright law is one area where fee shifting is permitted, and courts have discretion to award a "reasonable" fee to the winning party. How do courts decide?
The Dancing Baby Case: Where Do We Go from Here?
Intellectual Property Magazine published Craig Whitney article, "The Dancing Baby Case: Where Do We Go from Here?", about how media companies and copyright holders deal with infringing content online. To view the article, click here.
New Trade Secrets Law Calls for Changes to Handbooks and Certain Employment Agreements
As we noted in an alert last week, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") creates a private right of action to sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation, and provides for remedies including actual damages and attorneys' fees.
Was Anyone Hurt? - New Supreme Court Test Raises the Bar for Class Action Plaintiffs
There's good news for companies defending or girding for consumer class actions.
New Federal Law Expands Trade Secrets Protections
There's good news for companies that rely on trade secrets.
Supreme Court Decision Will Clarify Copyright Protection for Fashion Designs
On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, which could set the stage for greater clarity in copyright law in the fashion and design industries.
Craig Whitney in WWD
Women’s Wear Daily quoted Craig Whitney on the impact a Supreme Court decision in Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc. will have on the fashion industry.
Craig Whitney in Inside Counsel
Inside Counsel quoted Craig Whitney on the impact of the Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands case on the fashion industry and copyright law. The US Supreme Court is currently considering whether to grant certiorari and hear this case.
Ruling Maintains That Fair Use Must Be Considered Before Issuing Copyright Takedown Notices
The Ninth Circuit declined to review its earlier opinion in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. that copyright holders must consider fair use before seeking to remove allegedly infringing content from websites such as YouTube and Facebook.
When the Supreme Court Closes a Door, It Opens a Window
Craig B. Whitney and Andrew J. Ungberg's article, "When the Supreme Court Closes a Door, It Opens a Window: Over One Year Later, Aereo May Help Put the Cloud Back on the Court’s Horizon" is featured in Landslide, a publication of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law.
9th Circuit Rules That Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Issuing DMCA Takedown Notice
Media companies and other copyright holders may need to change the way they deal with infringing content on the Internet.
Aereo Post-Mortem: Was it Ever Really About the Cloud
In its May/June 2015 issue, Landslide — a publication of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law — published Craig Whitney's article "Aereo Post-Mortem: Was it Ever Really About the Cloud" about the U.S. Supreme Court's copyright infringement decision in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc.
Craig Whitney Joins Frankfurt Kurnit
The American Lawyer [here] World Intellectual Property Review [here], Reuters [here], The Copyright Society of The USA [here] and Crain’s New York Business [here] covered the arrival of Litigation and IP Group partner Craig Whitney to Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Craig B. Whitney Joins Frankfurt Kurnit as Litigation and Intellectual Property Partner
April 13, 2015 New York, N.Y. - Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC has added Craig B. Whitney as a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Intellectual Property Groups. Mr. Whitney joined the firm today.
Debating Designs: Varsity Brands and IP Protection for Fashion Designers
Craig Whitney and Rachel Kronman wrote an article published by the NYSBA Bright Ideas magazine. The article was originally published in Vol. 24, No. 3 of Bright Ideas (Winter 2015), a publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.