Margaret Esquenet is a Partner at Finnegan. Her work focuses on contemporary issues in U.S. and global copyright, advertising, and trademark law. She leads litigation teams defining the scope of copyright protection, trademark infringement, and advertising substantiation on traditional and emerging platforms. She provides legal counsel across all media, in all facets of branding, advertising, and marketing. Margaret is experienced in First Amendment and media rights and has been tapped as an intellectual property legal expert for National Public Radio and Bloomberg BNA stories.
For more information or to contact Margaret, please visit her Firm Profile Page.
Name, Image, and Likeness, or “NIL,” is the buzz word spinning around college athletics. In July 2021, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) adopted its Interim NIL Policy (“the Policy”) which allows, for the first time, student athletes to monetize their NIL rights without losing scholarships or eligibility. Fans love college sports and cheering on athletes who play for their alma mater or favorite school teams, which creates collaboration opportunities for athletes and brands alike. In an attempt to connect their products and services with college athletes—who are the face of a billion-dollar industry—brands are jumping on the college-athlete bandwagon.
The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Allen v. Cooper (Case No. 18-877) on Monday, November 5, 2019. Petitioner Allen claims that the State of North Carolina infringed his copyrights in images and video of the salvage of Blackbeard’s famed pirate ship. Relying on the Copyright Remedies Clarification Act (CRCA), Allen seeks monetary damages against the State. The State argues, and many lower courts have agreed, that the CRCA is unconstitutional and state sovereign immunity precludes Allen from recovering copyright infringement damages against the State.
On January 8th, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v. Wall-Street.com [Case No. 17-571 (Jan. 8, 2019)] to settle a longstanding circuit split on the copyright registration prerequisite to a copyright infringement suit… The Justices gave little indication as to how convincing they found either party’s policy arguments. The first rule of statutory interpretation, however, is that if the plain meaning of the text is clear, the inquiry ends. Here, at least two of the Justices acknowledged that the term “registration” is flexible, so the issue may end up turning on how far outside the four corners of Section 411(a) the Court is willing to look to determine its meaning.