Partner Dan DeCarlo Defeats Claim Brought by Copyright "Troll" Larry Philpot

Los Angeles, Calif. (September 30, 2021) - Los Angeles Partner Daniel C. DeCarlo, with the assistance of New Orleans Associate Claude Reynaud, recently successfully defeated a claim on behalf of Lewis Brisbois' client Where Y’at Magazine against known "copyright troll" Larry Philpot, who, per court records, has filed over 150 lawsuits. One court recently said about Mr. Philpot, "An important factor here is that Philpot and his counsel are, in essence, copyright 'trolls'." Philpot v. WOS, Inc. 2019 WL 1767208 (W.D. Tex April 22, 2019). Additionally, Mr. Philpot’s litigation has spawned commentary that has been less than complimentary toward his methods (read more here and here). 

In this case, Mr. Philpot claimed that our client infringed his copyright in a photo of Tom Petty. Ultimately, Mr. Philpot stipulated that our client was the prevailing party, and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

The business of copyright trolls has exploded in the past decade along with the explosion of social media. A "copyright troll" has been defined by one circuit court as one who brings "strategic infringement claims of dubious merit in the hope of arranging prompt settlements with defendants who would prefer to pay modest or nuisance settlements rather than be tied up in expensive litigation." We were pleased to be able to assist our client in fighting back against what we believed to be an unjustified lawsuit.

In addressing the case, Mr. DeCarlo commented, “I have been litigating intellectual property cases for nearly 30 years now and I have observed that the rise of the intellectual property 'troll' has visited an incredible burden on hard-working and honest businesspeople. Our client, Where Y’at Magazine, is one such honorable business and I’m thrilled we were able to both defeat Mr. Philpot’s claim and exonerate our client. The rights of copyright holders and indeed all intellectual property rights holders are certainly important and need to be protected, but often in my experience, those who can be fairly defined as intellectual property 'trolls' may not have the rights they claim to have, and their prosecution of these claims sometimes amounts to an unjustified demand for excessive amounts of money.”

Mr. DeCarlo is the chair of Lewis Brisbois' Intellectual Property & Technology Practice. In his nearly 30 years of practice, he has earned a reputation as one of the most formidable litigators and trial attorneys in Los Angeles and has been recognized as one of the top litigators and trial lawyers in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2020 and 2021.

Mr. Reynaud is a member of the firm's General Liability Practice.

We encourage those who believe they have been the target of intellectual property "trolls" to contact us for consideration of their options. Visit our Intellectual Property & Technology Practice page to learn more.

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