January 07, 2009

Leading Entertainment Industry IP Attorney George M. Borkowski Joins Venable in Los Angeles, Becomes Co-Chair of National IP Litigation Group

Mr. Borkowski at forefront of IP piracy and copyright issues for the recording, motion picture and video game industries; Former acting director of civil litigation for Recording Industry Association of America

4 min

LOS ANGELES (January 7, 2009) – Venable LLP announced that noted intellectual property attorney George M. Borkowski, who has represented major entertainment and content industry constituents against copyright infringement and Internet piracy, has joined the firm as a partner in its Los Angeles office.  Mr. Borkowski will also serve as co-chair of Venable’s national Intellectual Property Litigation Group.

Mr. Borkowski comes to Venable after two decades at the Los Angeles firm of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, where he was founder and chair of its Intellectual Property and Technology Practice, as well as a member of its Governing Board.

Representing some of the leading entertainment, video game and software companies and industry associations, Mr. Borkowski has handled the full gamut of IP and technology litigation and counsel.  He brings particular strengths in copyright, trademark and anti-piracy litigation covering everything from music, film, and video games to computer software and Internet technology, as well as jewelry, furniture, architectural works, photography and other content.

Douglas Emhoff, partner in charge of Venable's Los Angeles office noted that “George's arrival expands our strong national IP practice here in Los Angeles, ably led by JoAnna Esty and her group of patent attorneys.  George's distinguished background in copyright, trade secrets and anti-piracy work enhances the depth of our IP litigation team in California as well as nationally.”

Among the groundbreaking copyright disputes in which Mr. Borkowski participated as a senior attorney on behalf of the recording industry were A&M Records, et al. v. Napster, Inc, a seminal case that resulted in an injunction against the file sharing giant, as well as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., et al. v. Grokster, Ltd., et al, the first major post-Napster distributed peer-to peer litigation.  He has also represented the Motion Picture Association of America in numerous copyright and piracy lawsuits.   His work with record labels includes copyright infringement, royalty and trademark disputes. 

During his tenure at Mitchell Silberberg, Mr. Borkowski served as acting director of litigation for the Recording Industry Association of America in 2000-2001.  He was involved in all aspects of copyright and technology issues, including planning the industry’s approach to the top technology issues of the day.

In addition to his entertainment IP industry work, Mr. Borkowski handles patent, trade secrets, digital copyright and anti-piracy cases for major computer and software companies and semiconductor manufacturers.  He also has represented a leading wireless provider in trademark and network development disputes in California.

“George Borkowski has been at the front lines of some of the most important litigation involving the protection of copyrighted entertainment and digital works.  He is a master case strategist as well as first-rate counselor in advising content creators, manufacturers, tech companies and others on how to protect their intellectual property – We very much look forward to working with George and welcome to the firm's leadership team,” said Roger Colaizzi, Venable partner and co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation group.

Mr. Borkowski is the latest addition to the firm’s growing Los Angeles office. Launched in 2006, Venable now counts more than 40 attorneys based in LA, including a number of prominent IP litigators.

“Venable has developed a strong national IP practice in recent years, handling complex patent and technology matters as well as so-called soft IP work such as copyright and trademarks,” Mr. Borkowski said.  “The firm has an outstanding client base and has made an impressive mark in Southern California in a relatively short time.  I am grateful for 20 rewarding and productive years with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp and am looking forward to writing a new chapter in the IP area with Venable.”

Mr. Borkowski is a regular presence at leading entertainment industry and cyberlaw events, having presented at the Los Angeles Copyright Society, Global Wireless Summit, American Association of Museums Convention, Games & Mobile Forum, Music 2.0 Conference and other venues and programs.  He has also written extensively on digital copyright and anti-piracy issues.

Prior to joining Mitchell Silberberg in 1988, Mr. Borkowski served as a clerk to John F. Gerry, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Borkowski received his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1987) and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1984).



An American Lawyer top 100 law firm, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.