James Trigg represents creators and brand owners in the areas of copyright and trademark law. Whether handling a hotly-contested copyright dispute, negotiating a complex trademark or copyright license, or advising on strategies for protection of valuable brands and creations, James seeks thoughtful, practical, and cost-effective solutions for his clients. His practice spans a range of creative and design industries, including textiles, fashion, media, and publishing, and he also supports clients in the hospitality, technology, and healthcare fields.
On the copyright side of his practice, James has developed particular expertise in litigating matters involving textile prints and photographic works, and he routinely brings his litigation experience to bear when advising clients on strategies for registering their works and for avoiding problems with respect to the use of third party copyrights. As a trademark practitioner, James works closely with clients to select marks, to register marks domestically and internationally, and to leverage those marks through licenses, endorsement deals, and other transactions. His extensive background in both copyright and trademark law is especially valuable to his clients in design fields, where maximizing protection requires clear understanding of the interplay between these bodies of law.
James is a respected and sought-after speaker and writer on intellectual property topics. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, teaching trademarks and entertainment law, and he has lectured at other law schools, including Wake Forest, Emory, Georgia State, and Mercer. His articles on copyright and trademark law have been published regularly, and he authored the copyright chapter in the casebook Franchising: Cases, Materials, & Problems, published in 2013 by the ABA Forum on Franchising.
Legal publications have routinely identified James as a top national practitioner in the fields of copyright and trademark. The Legal 500 has included him in its list of top U.S. copyright lawyers for the years 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018. The Best Lawyers in America recognized James in the fields of Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Trademark Law in 2023 and in the 12 preceding years, naming him the 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” for Trademark Law in the Atlanta area. World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals has listed him as a top practitioner on seven occasions, including in its 2022 edition, and Managing Intellectual Property magazine has tapped him as an “IP Star” six times. James is an 13-time Georgia “Super Lawyer” in the field of Intellectual Property, as named by Super Lawyers magazine, and he is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Represented Sugartown Worldwide LLC, owner of the famous LILLY PULITZER fashion brand, on multiple occasions in cases enforcing copyrights in Sugartown’s distinctive textile pattern designs. Among the matters that James has handled and brought to successful conclusion are: Dazzle Up, LLC v. Sugartown Worldwide, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-00015 (M.D.N.C.) (as counterclaim plaintiff); Sugartown Worldwide LLC v. The Talbots, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-2814 (N.D. Ga.); Sugartown Worldwide LLC v. Old Navy (Apparel), LLC, Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-02633 (N.D. Ga.). Each case involved designs that were not identical to the corresponding LILLY PULITZER patterns, but nonetheless bore sufficient similarity that Sugartown claimed infringement of its rights.
Represents Cox Media Group and its related entities in an array of copyright matters, particularly in connection with claims of photo infringement. Among the matters in which James has acted for Cox include Goldman v. Cox Media Group, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-02954 (S.D.N.Y.) and Cruz v. Cox Media Group, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-01041 (E.D.N.Y.). Both of these actions involved novel issues of copyright originality and statutory damages calculation under the Copyright Act.
Advises Interface, Inc., one of the world’s leading carpet manufacturers, on all aspects of copyright and trademark law, overseeing extensive global portfolios of intellectual property rights. In 2019, James won a relatively rare positive decision from the United States Copyright Office, in which the Copyright Review Board overturned an examiner’s refusal to register a textile design. James and his team convinced the Review Board that the subject design possessed the requisite originality to merit registration. The decision is published on the Copyright Office website at this link: https://www.copyright.gov/rulings-filings/review-board/docs/set-in-stone.pdf
Defended ACS Products, Inc., the retail arm of the American Cancer Society, in an action involving allegations of copyright infringement and trade dress infringement arising from certain headwear designs. The case implicated novel issues under the Copyright Act’s useful article doctrine, and the matter was brought to a negotiated conclusion. Headcovers Unlimited, Inc. v. ACS Products, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-01454 (S.D. Tex.).
Counsels the acclaimed rock band R.E.M. in matters of copyright, trademark, and right of publicity law, overseeing a global trademark portfolio and handling intellectual property enforcement issues throughout the world.
Manages an extensive worldwide trademark licensing program for a well-known multinational hospitality company, preparing and negotiating licenses for multiple brands, and interfacing with local counsel throughout the world to record licenses in accordance with national regulations.
Coordinates a copyright searching, filing, and document recordal program for an international producer of motion picture content.
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University of Virginia School of Law J.D. (1992)
Princeton University A.B. (1988)
New York (2020)
Supreme Court of Georgia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Copyright Society of the United States, New York City Chapter, Co-Chair
Member (former Southeast Chapter Chair and former Trustee)
International Trademark Association, Member
Art Papers, Inc., Board Member (2014-2020)
Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Board Member (2000-2012)
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