areas of expertise
Andrew J. Ungberg is an experienced IP and media lawyer serving clients in the television, film, and video game industries.
An associate in the Entertainment and Interactive Entertainment Groups at Frankfurt Kurnit, Mr. Ungberg counsels creative clients in a range of technology and media-related industries.
Mr. Ungberg advises content creators and distributors on legal issues that impact creative projects including copyright, trademark, defamation, and the rights of privacy and publicity. He regularly reviews television, film, print media, and web content for legal risk, counsels on fair use issues, and advises clients on errors and omission (E&O) insurance. In addition, Mr. Ungberg negotiates and drafts the agreements, licenses, and releases necessary to develop and produce creative projects for distribution.
A life-long gamer, Mr. Ungberg also advises video game industry clients ranging from small indie developers to some of the largest publishers and game studios. He counsels game clients on tech transactions, IP asset acquisitions, content licensing, and development and distribution deals. Mr. Ungberg also advises on game-specific legal issues, including the use of real-world objects, locations and architecture in virtual worlds, and the design of virtual currency systems.
Mr. Ungberg is a frequent speaker on media law issues affecting the television, film and video game industries. He has presented at the annual DOC NYC festival, the Media & the Law Seminar at the University of Kansas, and the Video Game Bar Association (VGBA) Business & Legal Summit North. He is a member of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC), the VGBA, and the Communications & Media Law Committee of the New York City Bar.
Mr. Ungberg has also represented media clients in complex commercial litigation in federal court. Among other matters, he defended digital media companies from copyright claims arising from news articles, social media posts, and viral videos; defended an Oscar award-winning documentary film producer against right of publicity and copyright infringement claims; represented a leading advertising agency in a case to stop the infringement of its luxury fashion ad campaign; and was a member of the trial team representing Hasbro, Inc. in a lawsuit over the motion picture rights to the famous Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.
Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit, Mr. Ungberg worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. He is admitted to practice in New York State.
Harvard Law School (JD, 2010)
-Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology Vol. 23
University of Connecticut (BS, magna cum laude, 2007)
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past Speaking Engagements
Media and Tech Preview 2020
Andrew Ungberg moderates “Media and Tech Preview 2020” during a panel discussion for Gotham Media on what's likely to occur over the next 12 months in media and technology.
December 5 2019
2019 DOC NYC Pro Conference
Victoria Cook, Melissa Georges and Andrew Ungberg present "Documentary Filmmaking in a Global World" during the DOC NYC pro conference. In addition, Melissa Georges and Andrew Ungberg each lead a round-table discussion during the Only in New York - 40 Under 40 Filmmakers session.
November 14 2019
VGBA Summit North
Sean F. Kane and Andrew Ungberg are on the panel “What is Real? Use of Real-World Items in Games and Rights of Publicity” at the Video Game Bar Association Summit North in Seattle. More information here.
October 4 2019
Stranger Than Fiction 2.0: A Roundtable on True-Crime Legal Issues
Melissa Georges, Julie Murray, Andrew Ungberg and Ben Moskowitz present "Stranger Than Fiction 2.0: A Roundtable on True-Crime Legal Issues" during a recorded presentation for the National Academy of Continuing Legal Education (NACLE).
July 31 2019
Andrew Ungberg presents at the University of Kansas’ Media & the Law Seminar.
May 2 2019
Victoria Cook, Julie Murray and Andrew Ungberg at DOC NYC
Victoria Cook, Julie Murray and Andrew Ungberg present "Withstanding the Assault on Free Speech," a legal panel discussing how documentary filmmakers can cover protests, police actions and other highly-charged situations, during the DOC NYC PRO: DOC LAW SCHOOL program. More information here.
November 15 2018
Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference
Andrew Ungberg spoke on a panel discussing changing trends in copyright litigation, the rise of copyright “trolls” and what small media organizations can do to both reduce the chances that they are targeted with one of these strike suits, and what they can do to defend if they are sued at the Newspaper Association Managers Legislative Conference in Washington DC.
December 4 2017
IP Rights in the Video Gaming Industry: Protecting and Defending Your Game’s IP
August 9 2017
Understanding Contracts + Fair Use
Andrew Ungberg leads a workshop to help filmmakers understand and navigate common legal issues they might face over the life cycle of film production, with a focus on contracts and fair use for the Video Consortium.
May 6 2017
news & press
Scholastic, Houghton Mifflin Settle Reading Program TM Row
How Courts View Copyright Protection For Video Games
Federal Appeals Court Weakens DMCA Safe Harbor Protection for Moderated Online Content
If you're an online publisher or other internet service provider ("ISP") that relies on moderators to police or curate user-generated comments or other content, your risk of liability for copyright infringement just increased. Read more.
No Harm, No Foul: Court Dismisses Biometric Data Privacy Class Action Against NBA 2K Games
Biometric data — from, e.g., retina, face and fingerprint scans — plays a big role in the current wave of new technology services. For example, biometrics provide security features for financial and healthcare products. But companies using or thinking of using biometric data have to comply with myriad privacy and data security laws and regulations, or face potential enforcement action and litigation. Read more.
Forfeiture and Restitution: Ships Passing in the Night?
The New York Law Journal published Brian Maas, Caren Decter and Andrew Ungberg’s essay about the disconnect between the government’s forfeiture powers and a victim’s right to restitution. (Article behind paywall) View Article
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? Read more.
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. Read more.
Legal Battle Over Dungeons & Dragons Film Rights Ends in Settlement
A settlement has been reached in the "Dungeons and Dragons" film dispute between Hasbro, Warner Brothers, and Sweetpea Entertainment. Frankfurt Kurnit's Maura Wogan, Jeremy S. Goldman and Andrew Ungberg respresented Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast. You can find Variety coverage here, Hollywood Reporter coverage here, Guardian coverage here, Deadline coverage here, and Courthouse News coverage here.
On Further Review: Former NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Suit Advances
There was a big development in the closely followed Davis v. Electronic Arts, Inc. case - a case focusing on the alleged unauthorized use of player images and likenesses in the popular Madden NFL video game series. Read more.
After ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Trial, Parties Fight Over Meaning of Movie Sequel
The Hollywood Reporter continues its coverage of the Hasbro Inc. v. Sweetpea Entertainment trial – the battle over film rights to the Dungeons & Dragons property. Maura Wogan, Jeremy S. Goldman and Andrew Ungberg represent Hasbro. View Article