Roger Zissu


Fross Zelnick

From winning at trial the landmark fair use case Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, Inc., to protecting Tarzan and other intellectual property rights of Tarzan creator and fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, Roger Zissu is one of the country’s best-known copyright and trademark lawyers. His more than 50 years of practice includes representing both plaintiffs and defendants in precedent-setting cases that have defined work made for hire, the rights of joint authors, and the granting of electronic book publication rights under the current Copyright Act.

Roger’s cases have also included ownership disputes and infringement of iconic literary and graphic characters, motion pictures, television programs, literary works (fiction and non-fiction), music, and artworks. These include Milne v. Stephen Slesinger, Inc., where the Ninth Circuit upheld the Milne 1983 re-grant to Slesinger of Winnie the Pooh merchandising rights and rejected the attempt by Disney, Clare Milne, and the illustrator of the Pooh stories to terminate A.A. Milne’s 1930 grant of such rights to Slesinger under the termination provisions of the Copyright Act. He advises on a broad range of copyright, unfair competition, and trademark issues, including matters involving scientific, instructional, and educational testing materials as well as concurrent trademark use agreements. Roger also has prepared and negotiated contracts and licensing in myriad areas, including corporate sales and acquisitions of copyright and trademark rights, author/publisher agreements, commissioned artworks, and the purchase and sale of works of art.


Copyright Society President (1992-94); Chair of Committee on Copyright and Literary Property, New York City Bar A’ssn ( 1989-92); Copyright Society’s Forty-Sixth Annual Brace Lecturer (2016); Twelfth Annual American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Second Circuit (2013); Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. and predecessor firm (1990-2021); A.B. Dartmouth College 1960; L.L.B. Harvard Law School 1963,