Robert Penchina

Partner

penchinar@ballardspahr.com
Tel 212.850.6109
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

Robert Penchina concentrates his practice in intellectual property, media, sports, entertainment, and gambling law. He counsels news organizations, television networks, publishers, sports organizations, fashion houses, and others in licensing and protecting their intellectual property, and litigates on behalf of a wide range of clients defending or asserting claims of copyright and trademark infringement.

Mr. Penchina also has represented media organizations in proceedings before Congress and has appeared on behalf of the horseracing industry before numerous state and federal lawmaking and regulatory bodies.

Chambers USA has reported that clients describe Mr. Penchina as “an amazing adviser,” who is “incredibly responsive, very thoughtful, and practically minded.”

Mr. Penchina was a partner at the highly regarded First Amendment boutique law firm Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, which merged with Ballard Spahr in October 2017.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Frank X. Altimari, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Representative Experience

  • Served as lead counsel in the successful defense of Gawker against copyright infringement claims asserted by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who filed suit after Gawker reported on the leak of Tarantino’s screenplay for the film The Hateful Eight. This widely followed case, which was dismissed by the court, raised issues relating to fair use and potential liability under the Copyright Act for linking to online content.
  • Served as lead counsel for The New York Times in a two-week jury trial in a copyright infringement action brought by a freelance photographer who sought $52.5 million in damages. The photographer alleged that the newspaper had no right to publish approximately 100 of his photographs on NYTimes.com. The jury unanimously sided with the newspaper, and, one week after hearing oral argument on appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed its judgment.
  • Successfully defended GE against a series of complaints asserting copyright infringement and related claims arising from its alleged use of software beyond the scope of a license.
  • On behalf of NBC Universal, Fox News Network, and Fox Television Stations, Inc., successfully asserted copyright and trademark infringement claims against a company distributing television programming via the internet, and obtained a permanent injunction prohibiting use of the networks’ content without their permission.

Professional Activities

Breeders’ Cup Properties, Ltd., past Board member

New York Therapeutic Riding Center, Advisory Board

Recognition & Accomplishments

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, trademark and copyright, New York

The Best Lawyers in America, top copyright and intellectual property litigation lawyer, 2013-2018

New York Metro Super Lawyers, intellectual property litigation, 2007, 2013-2017

Publications

“What Does DOJ Have Against the Interstate Horseracing Act?” 10 Gaming Law Review 446, 2006

“2002 Trademark Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit,” 52 American University Law Review 999, 2003

New York University School of Law (J.D. 1988)
Note and Comment Editor, New York University Law Review
National First Prize, Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition for papers on copyright law
Paul D. Kaufman Memorial Award for outstanding note written for the NYU Law Review

Queens College/City University of New York (B.A. 1985, magna cum laude)

New York

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits

U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of New York