Joshua Kaufman

Venable LLP

$ $$$

Massachusetts Avenue Northwest 600
Washington 20001 DC US

Joshua J. Kaufman is head of Venable’s Copyright and Licensing Group and co-chair of Venable’s Art Law Group. He counsels and litigates in copyright, e-commerce, licensing, art, intellectual property, software, on-line issues, trademark, anti-counterfeiting, Rights of Publicity, entertainment, media, and literary law.

He advises his clients in structuring and negotiating transactions in which they exploit and protect their intellectual property rights or in acquiring them from others. A former computer consultant and writer, he was one of the nation’s first computer and cyber attorneys.

Joshua has experience in all forms of licensing of copyrights and trademarks. He has negotiated hundreds of licenses, representing licensees, licensors, and agents. He helps clients understand how to acquire and obtain licenses, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secret rights, and he assists them in exploiting these rights through licensing and joint ventures.

If his clients’ rights are infringed upon, Joshua represents them in mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and litigation. In his international art law practice, Joshua represents artists, collectors, art publishers, art licensing agents, auction houses, museums, and art licensees.

His legal proficiency is augmented by a strong knowledge of the art world; he is an artist and was a gallery owner and importer in his own right. He was M.C. Escher’s first distributor in the United States.

To ensure his clients are paid and that they are not infringing on the rights of others, Joshua spearheads Venable’s Intellectual Property Audit Group. If a client has misused the intellectual property of another, Joshua seeks to extricate them from such circumstances in the most expeditious, cost-effective, and confidential manner possible.

Joshua has led hundreds of anti-counterfeiting efforts that have resulted in seizure, destruction, or elimination of thousands of counterfeited and infringed products. He has represented trademark, copyright, and other rights owners, as well as accused counterfeiters and infringers.

Experience :

  • Successful affirmation, Copyright Work For Hire. CCNV v. Reid, 109 S. Ct., 2166 (1989)
  • Argued before the 9th Circuit October 20, 2008. Société Civile Succession Richard Guino v. Beseder, Inc., et al.
  • Copyright damages: Architectural works. Nelson Salabes, Inc. v. Morningside Holdings, et al., 284 F.3d 505, USCA 4th Cir. 2002
  • Obtained affirmation, Consumer Protection Auction House Liability, representing Bill Cosby. Weschler v. Klank, 561 A.2d 1003, DC App. 1989
  • Obtained a favorable result on appeal, Civil Procedure Summary Judgment. Zitelman v. Metropolitan Insurance Agency, 482 A.2d 426, DC App. 1984
  • Freedom of Information Act. National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company v. Federal Bureau of Investigation 514 F. Supp. 1149, DC 1981

Education :

  • J.D. with honors George Washington University Law School 1975
  • B.A. University of Maryland 1972

Bar Admissions : District of Columbia, Maryland, New York

Court Admissions :

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court.

Professional Memberships :

  • Member, Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Steering Committee (past), Washington, DC chapter
  • Founding member, District of Columbia Bar Association, Section on Art, Entertainment and Sports Law; founding member, Section on Computer Law
  • Member, National Computer Law Association
  • Co-author, An Associate’s Guide to the Practice of Copyright Law
  • Contributor to the Licensing Royalty Rate Guide
  • Former adjunct professor, Entertainment Law and Art Law, Washington College of Law at American University
  • Founder and executive director, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, DC.

Community :

  • General counsel, Art Copyright Coalition (ACC), an international organization dedicated to enforcing the rights of the creative arts community
  • Past board member, Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, one of the nation’s foremost organizations providing independent housing opportunities for disabled citizens
  • Past board member, Learning Matters, an Emmy Award–nominated and Peabody Award–winning TV production company focusing on educational matters
  • Board member, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts – which provides pro bono and educational support to artists and art organizations
  • Member, board of advisors, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company


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Massachusetts Avenue Northwest 600
Washington 20001 DC US
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Lina Stillman

Broadway 42
New York 10006 NY US