Protecting Superheroes: Copyright & Comic Book Characters

When: October 14, 2015 at 12:00pm - 2:00pm EDT - This event has passed


Comic books have existed for decades, but in recent years they have come to the foreground of the public’s imagination.  Along with comic books’ growing success and popularity, the intellectual property rights associated with the them have become increasingly important and complicated.  This panel will explore the copyright issues relevant to comic books with particular emphasis on protection for characters. In addition, leading members of the comic book industry will discuss the ways in which copyright touches the creative and business decisions that they face on a daily basis.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be at a different location than usual — Kirkland & Ellis LLP has generously agreed to host. The firm is located at 601 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022.



Neal Adams had legendary “runs” on Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Deadman. Adams rescued Batman from the campy TV show, and transformed him into his present, “Avenger of the Night” persona. When people say ‘modern Batman,’ they mean Neal Adams’ Batman. His run led directly to the realistic incarnation seen in “Batman Returns”, and the “The Dark Knight” movies. Neal Adams’ “Batman Odyssey” has blasted into new horizons of the comic book medium. As Wizard Magazine noted, Adams “revived Batman, saved the X-Men, challenged the system and changed comics forever.”  When asked to describe Neal Adams in one word, Marvel Comic’s Editor in Chief, Joe Quesada, said that one word would be “genius.”  


Dale M. Cendali is a partner in Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s New York office and heads Kirkland’s firm-wide Copyright, Trademark, Internet and Advertising Practice Group.  She is a nationally recognized leader in the field of intellectual property litigation, having successfully litigated and tried numerous high-profile cases. Dale’s practice encompasses copyright, trademark, false advertising, patent, Internet, and trade secrets law, as well as defamation, the right of publicity, privacy, complex contract disputes and similar areas, including electronic discovery.  Dale argued before the United States Supreme Court in Dastar v. Twentieth Century Fox, represented Victoria’s Secret in the Supreme Court in Moseley v. V. Secret Catalogue Inc., and helped draft the federal Trademark Dilution Revision Act. Among Dale’s many awards, The National Law Journal selected her as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” She has repeatedly been ranked as a “top tier” lawyer by Chambers Global and Chambers USA, which describes her as “one of the best lawyers in the country” in her field. Euromoney Legal Media Group has also named Dale as “Best in the Americas” in both Copyright and Trademark at its Women in Business Law Awards, and Dale was named one of the Top 10 Women in IP by Managing Intellectual Property.

Dale writes and lectures extensively on intellectual property and litigation law topics, and has held many senior positions in the bar, including Vice Chair of the Copyright Division and Chair of the IP Special Issues Division for the IP Section of the American Bar Association.  She currently serves on the Council for the ABA’s IP Section. In 2010, the International Trademark Association (INTA) elected Dale to serve as Counsel, the highest-ranking position in the organization for an outside counsel. She also previously chaired INTA’s Dilution and Enforcement committees and is the current Chair of the Copyright Committee.  She is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Dale is also an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, teaching copyright and trademark litigation.


Paul Levitz is a comic fan (The Comic Reader), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes), executive (30 years at DC, ending as President & Publisher), historian (Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, Abrams ComicArts, 2015)) and educator (including the American Graphic Novel at Columbia).  He won two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine, received Comic-con International’s Inkpot Award, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Comics Industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro and the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award from the Hero Initiative. His 75 Years of DC Comics won the Eisner Award, the Eagle Award and Munich’s Peng Pris, and is being released in revised form as five volumes in 2013-15.  His over 400 comics have been collected in over 20 graphic novels, and he is the first writer to have appeared on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for both fiction and non-fiction. Levitz also serves on the boards of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Boom! Studios.


 The Copyright Society of the USA is a NYS CLE Provider
This course will provide 1 CLE credit


$45   |   Non-Members $65   |   Student Members $30 with valid ID – Use code HERO when registering  

Cancellation Policy

Refunds must be requested in writing at least three business days before the event. Refunds will not be issued after that point. Unfortunately, we will not be able to credit your registration payment toward a future event, but you may allow another person to attend in your place.

CLE Credit Details

The Copyright Society of the USA is a NYS CLE Provider This course will provide 1 CLE credit