Former legal affairs executive at Recording Industry Association of America, Ms. Zirkelbach played central role in historic recording industry litigation; served as General Counsel at publishing and media company Teaching Strategies, Inc. (now LLC)
WASHINGTON, DC (July 30 , 2014) – Venable LLP announced that Linda Zirkelbach, a prominent intellectual property lawyer with extensive experience in copyright and trademark matters, has rejoined the firm as a counsel in the firm’s Trademark, Copyright and Licensing Group in Washington. Ms. Zirkelbach joins from the Potomac Law Group, PLLC, where she was also a counsel. She began her career as an IP associate at Venable.
With a particularly strong background in digital media, entertainment and publishing, Ms. Zirkelbach’s practice spans copyrights and trademarks, as well as domain names, false advertising, and rights of publicity and privacy. She has litigated scores of IP matters in federal courts and has represented clients in courtrooms across the country. Ms. Zirkelbach also regularly handles transactional IP matters, including drafting and negotiating licensing, publishing and royalty agreements. She has managed IP portfolios for companies, including trademark and copyright registration work. Ms. Zirkelbach also has experience in IP clearances, audits and due diligence.
Ms. Zirkelbach previously served as Vice President and General Counsel at Teaching Strategies, Inc., now LLC, an early childhood education publishing and media company. As General Counsel, she handled all legal issues for Teaching Strategies and its two subsidiaries, with a particular emphasis on the company’s intellectual property assets, including managing their copyright and trademark portfolio, negotiating and drafting licensing transactions and enforcing their IP rights.
Ms. Zirkelbach earlier served as an executive and in-house counsel with the Recording Industry Association of America (”RIAA”), the principal trade organization for the music recording industry. She was Vice President, Legal Affairs and a key member of the RIAA’s unprecedented litigation initiative against thousands of peer-to-peer copyright infringers and the historic Supreme Court case, MGM Studios v. Grokster, which held that companies that facilitate infringement on the internet can be held liable for copyright infringement on the theory of inducement to infringe. Ms. Zirkelbach also obtained a $2.1 million judgment against a retailer selling pirated music during her tenure.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Linda back to Venable, after a highly accomplished period as a general IP adviser and as in-house counsel to RIAA and Teaching Strategies, Inc.,” said William Coston, who chairs Venable’s IP Division.
“Linda understands the core IP issues and concerns affecting content-based companies,” Mr. Coston added. “She knows where the critical red lines and legal standards are between proper usage and infringement. And she is well versed in helping businesses achieve full value for their IP assets in key transactions, and in safeguarding those assets when they are misappropriated. Her role in the recording industry’s historic litigation, including the Grokster case, gives her Hall of Fame stature among those who follow contemporary copyright law. Our entire IP practice benefits from Linda’s addition to the group.”
Ms. Zirkelbach commented: “Venable has a very robust and well-rounded national IP platform, with strengths in counselling, prosecution, litigation, portfolio valuation and other key disciplines. The firm has particular depth in trademark and copyright matters. Given the increasing importance that content companies properly protect their IP assets, this is an excellent time to expand my practice and I can’t think of a better place from which to do that than Venable.”
Ms. Zirkelbach earned her J.D., cum laude, from the American University Washington College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.
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