While it is estimated that counterfeiting costs the global economy more than $250 billion per year, the damage counterfeiters do to brands by offering faulty and sometimes dangerous knock-off products is immeasurable.
Courtney A. H. Thompson
Assistant: Wendy Munt, 612.492.7548
“I am approachable and work hard to ensure unmatched service and client satisfaction.”
Courtney provides great value, efficiency and service to her clients, focusing her practice at the intersection of business transactions and intellectual property protection. She regularly provides strategic advice and brand management services to her clients while protecting and enforcing intellectual property assets domestically and internationally. She has strong relationships with foreign counsel around the world, allowing her to assist clients with global filing strategies in an efficient and cost-effective manner in key jurisdictions.
Courtney works with clients of all sizes, from entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, addressing each client’s unique needs. She has particular expertise with trademark, copyright, anti-counterfeiting, licensing, advertising, marketing and brand management and commercial agreements.
- Courtney has assisted clients with trademark and copyright planning, prosecution and enforcement; traditional and social media marketing planning and compliance; sweepstakes and promotions compliance; talent agreements; and a wide range of enforcement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) matters.
- Courtney has helped major manufacturers to reduce the risk of intellectual theft worldwide and has extensive experience leading large-scale infringement and anti-counterfeiting investigations and enforcement efforts.
- Courtney has helped clients commercialize business technology and other intellectual property rights by drafting and negotiating trademark, copyright, patent and software licensing agreements as well as web and cloud-based services agreements.
- Courtney has worked with clients to implement strategies to protect, develop and share trade secrets and confidential information, including through non–disclosure, material transfer and licensing agreements.
- Courtney has advised plastic manufacturer on recyclable and recycled content claims.
- Courtney has advised cosmetic company on natural, recyclable and recycled content claims.
- Courtney has advised public food company on natural and organic claims.
Articles & Presentations
October 25, 2017
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), service providers can obtain safe harbor protection from copyright infringement liability by, among other things, designating an agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement with the U.S. Copyright Office.
June 19, 2017
Instagram will soon launch a new tool to help its internet celebrities, or “influencers,” disclose when they are being paid by sponsors.
March 27, 2017
On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands case. The dispute turned on the issue of whether the patterns of cheerleading uniforms, including chevrons and stripes, are protected under copyright law.
December 30, 2016
The United States has placed Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (Alibaba) back on its list of “notorious markets“ that sell counterfeit goods just four years after taking it off.
December 22, 2016
With support from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched a new program to stop the illegal importation and distribution of dangerous counterfeit consumer electronics at the border.
Renew Your Designated Agent Registration or Lose Your Safe Harbor Protection Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
December 20, 2016
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), online service providers can avail themselves of a safe harbor from liability for copyright infringement by registering contact information for a designated agent with the Copyright Office. Designated agents act as a point person for copyright holders who identify online copyright infringement and want to serve a takedown notice to get the infringing content removed from the site.
September 27, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection released a highly-anticipated report on lead generation on September 15, 2016. The paper summarizes staff perspectives on the topics covered at the FTC’s workshop on lead generation entitled “Follow the Lead” on October 30, 2015. Specifically, the report details the mechanics of online lead generation as well as the benefits and concerns associated with lead generation for both businesses and consumers.
April 1, 2016
In October 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that it was investigating the advertising practices of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) after it was uncovered that Volkswagen fitted its “clean diesel” automobiles with illegal emission defeat devices meant to mask emissions during government tests.
March 24, 2016
On March 23, 2016, the state’s high court clarified that domain names are property subject to garnishment under Minnesota law. Sprinkler Warehouse, Inc. v. Systematic Rain, Inc., d/b/a GPLAWN.com, No. A14-1121 (Minn. March 23, 2016).
March 2, 2016
LifeLock will pay $100 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle the FTC’s contempt charges that the company violated a 2010 federal court order that requires the company to protect consumers’ personal information and stop its deceptive advertising. This settlement is the largest award the FTC has obtained in an enforcement action.
December 17, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently investigated the Kansas-based, high-end watchmaker Niall Luxury Goods, LLC (Niall) over whether the firm overstated the extent to which its watches are made in the U.S. A key issue was that critical components of the company’s watches are sourced from other countries.
August 12, 2015
On May 8, 2013, Steven M. Gardner filed an action against CafePress, Inc. (CafePress). Gardner alleged that contents posted on the CafePress website, infringed Gardner’s copyrights in four works entitled “Find 12 Tigers,” “Polar Bears 10 Hidden Bears,” “Alaska Wildlife,” and “Harmony of Wolves.” The alleged infringement led to approximately $6,320 worth of products being sold.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Co-presenter, “Trends, Opportunities & Traps: What’s New in the World of Advertising?” Fredrikson & Byron program co-hosted with Ad Fed, August 1, 2019
- Presenter, “5 Things About 5 Things That Every Start Up Should Know,” Twin Cities Startup Week, October 8, 2018
- Presenter, “Attention Freelancers: The Legal Side of Being Your Own Boss,” AIGA Minnesota’s Design Camp, October 5-7, 2018
- Co-presenter, “What’s Trending in the World of Advertising Law?” Fredrikson & Byron program co-hosted with Ad Fed, September 13, 2018
- Co-presenter, “5 Things About 5 Things That Every Start Up Should Know,” Beta.MN Lunch & Learn, August 23, 2018
- Co-presenter, “#CanWeSayThat? AdLaw Answers from Industry Pros,” Fredrikson & Byron Advertising Law Seminar, February 27, 2018
- Co-presenter, “Fake vs. Real: Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies to Protect Your Brand,” Fredrikson & Byron Anti-Counterfeiting Seminar, November 30, 2017
- Presenter, “Copyrights: Registration, Ownership and Protection,” AIGA Minnesota’s Design Camp, October 6-8, 2017
- Moderator, “Agency Valuation and M&A Cycles: The Unspoken Impact on the Business and its Employees,” AdFed Program, July 27, 2017
- Presenter, “Ad Law 101: Troubleshooting Legal Issues in a Creative World,” Fredrikson & Byron Event, April 13, 2017
- Presenter, “Copyright, Trademark, and Advertising Law: Your Questions, Answered,” AIGA Minnesota’s Design Camp, October 7-9, 2016
- Presenter, “Wolves at the Door: National and Local Efforts to Tax Advertising,” AdFed and Fredrikson & Byron Panel, June 2016
- Presenter, “Advertising Hot Spots Swirling Around Online Sales,” Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, 2016
- Presenter, “Effective US Trademark Searches,” SURGE, 2016
- “At the Crossroads of Intellectual Property and Government Contracting: Case Studies and Practical Pointers,” co-authored with Theodore M. Thompson, 7 Cybaris An Intell. Prop. Rev. 131 (2016)
- “Dark Knight’s Ride is Copyrightable,” Minnesota Lawyer, December 22, 2015
- Presenter, “Protecting & Promoting Inventions: Leveraging Trademarks, Copyrights, & Advertising,” Inspire Innovation Expo, 2015
- Presenter, “Doing Business Online,” SURGE, 2015
- “Reverse Domain Name Hijacking and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy: Systematic Weaknesses, Strategies for the Respondent, and Proposed Policy Reforms,” 4 Cybaris An Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 191
Honors & Education
- William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2014, summa cum laude
- University of Minnesota, B.A., 2011, magna cum laude, with distinction
- Minnesota, 2014
- Advertising Federation of Minnesota, Board of Directors, 2015-present
- Minnesota Film and TV Board, Board of Directors, 2018-present
- William Mitchell College of Law Annual Fund Committee, 2015-2017
- Cybaris®, an Intellectual Property Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2013-2014
- Business Law Society, President, 2013-2014
- Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court, Competitor, 2013
- Minnesota State House of Representatives, Legislative Research Assistant, 2008-2011