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Practice Areas

In every area of practice, RCJ Law brings the insight, dedication to excellence, and commitment to client service needed for our clients to achieve their business objectives. Whether resolving complex intellectual property disputes inside or outside the courtroom, drafting terms of service and privacy policies, managing trademark portfolios, or litigating reputation/privacy/section 230, our attorneys are uniquely positioned to understand the convergence of creative expression, law, and technology.

RCJ attorneys have the expertise and training needed to manage the full range of copyright and related issues for our clients. We regularly assist clients with registration, licensing, fair use analysis, Digital Millennium Copyright Act compliance, dispute resolution, and litigation.

Representative matters:

  • Represented client in copyright infringement dispute regarding an allegedly infringing work of visual art used on an album cover.
  • Represented clients in litigation brought by Righthaven LLC, based on alleged infringement of news content.
  • Negotiated and drafted agreements, licenses, and assignments pertaining to copyrighted works, putting our clients’ IP rights on firm footing
  • Counseled artists and documentary filmmakers on rights clearances and Fair Use issues, reducing the uncertainty they face in this area of the law.

Our attorneys provide the full range of trademark services. We help companies secure new trademarks, protect existing trademark rights, and maximize brand value.

When trademark-related disputes arise, RCJ attorneys can assist in resolving such disputes informally, at the trademark office, and in federal court.

Representative matters and services:

  • We have advised numerous emerging and established companies regarding branding and trademark selection, and regularly prosecute trademarks.
  • Represented both brand owners and those accused of infringing trademarks in disputes regarding trademark infringement, dilution and related matters.
  • Licensing and co-branding agreements.
  • We employ a sensible, efficient approach to domain name disputes, and have obtained numerous domain name transfers both informally and through ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP).
  • Complete trademark portfolio management.

Ridder, Costa & Johnstone’s attorneys are focused and passionate litigators. RCJ attorneys have litigated copyright, trademark, patent, internet defamation, First Amendment and commercial disputes in California and throughout the United States. We understand the technology that underlies the cases we litigate, but at the same time never lose sight of the importance of explaining it in a way that judges and juries can understand.

Before we initiate litigation, we make sure that we identify how it fits in with our clients’ individual goals, and help them to carefully weigh the risks and benefits. After we initiate litigation, we move aggressively and efficiently to bring cases to a successful conclusion.

At RCJ, we work as a team in a collaborative environment on every matter, and we provide top-notch legal services for a fraction of the cost that at a traditional large firm would.

In the past year, RCJ has:

  • Defended an affiliate marketing website in trademark litigation spanning multiple jurisdictions.
  • Defended individuals and nonprofits in copyright infringement actions brought by Righthaven LLC.
  • Litigated numerous cyber-harassment and cyber-defamation cases involving Doe plaintiffs and anonymous defendants in state and federal courts.
  • Represented numerous clients in pre-litigation disputes involving alleged theft of trade secrets, computer hacking, trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and the First Amendment.

— In one such pre-litigation dispute, we persuaded the City of San Francisco that it violated the First Amendment when its Arts Commission passed a law banning a specific type of street art.

— In another, we persuaded the California State University that an order issued pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 2703(d) by its police department seeking information regarding a newspaper’s confidential sources was improper and unconstitutional.

RCJ is a pioneering firm in helping individuals and businesses protect their privacy and defend their rights online. We are accomplished at addressing harmful and defamatory content on the internet. We routinely identify anonymous speakers who have crossed the line into illegal harassment and defamation and employ creative approaches to stopping their conduct.

Because defamatory statements, e-personation and cyber harassment should not define anyone’s online identity, RCJ works with its clients to minimize the impact of negative publicity online in a variety of ways. For example, RCJ has assisted clients in improving internet search results, removing online content, and where necessary initiating litigation to hold those liable for illegal conduct to account.

We believe that RCJ represents the state of the art with respect to our approach to reputation management generally, and with respect to the range of innovative legal strategies we are able to bring to bear in most cases.

RCJ attorneys have substantial experience representing artists and creatives of every stripe, including musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, authors, photographers, and digital artists – as well as the companies who do business with them.

We help clients navigate an array of increasingly-complex internet and intellectual property laws; secure rights to their works; manage their brands and reputations online and off; negotiate licensing and related agreements; and assist with the resolution of business and intellectual property disputes.

Chris was a professional journalist, newspaper editor and publisher before he became an attorney, and is uniquely suited to representing both traditional and new media ventures with respect to the internet, intellectual property, First Amendment and media law issues they commonly face.

At RCJ, we understand technology, and our attorneys have substantial experience working with innovators. We represent developers of social networking software, video games and mobile apps; companies with innovative Web 2.0 applications; and internet-based content providers, among others. We have advised clients and litigated cases concerning a broad range of hardware, software, telecommunications, and other technology-intensive issues.

We believe that understanding not only our clients’ business, but also the technology that drives our clients’ products and services, is a necessary prerequisite to delivering the highest-quality legal advice. Whether we’re drafting web site policies or litigating a complex copyright dispute, remaining grounded in the facts gives us an advantage. As advocates, we prize our skill at explaining technical concepts and features to judges, juries and other lawyers in a way that is understandable.

The law applicable to computer software and the internet is rapidly evolving across a broad range of dimensions – especially for clients who operate at the leading edge of the technology curve. RCJ is immersed in the latest legal developments. We regularly write and speak about emerging legal issues related to privacy, online liability, open source software, user-generated content, copyright and trademark protection, and much more.