Communications Industry

Overview

With nearly 100 years of experience in advising media companies, BakerHostetler is a leader in understanding the issues essential to success in this arena. We represent content makers and content distributors across the spectrum of today’s media landscape, providing comprehensive counsel that encompasses corporate governance and transactions, cybersecurity and digital assets, intellectual property, government regulation and compliance, First Amendment issues, and more.

Our clients, who include some of the nation’s largest communications companies and service providers, trust us to safeguard their resources and advance their interests.

  • Telecommunications, cable and wireless service providers.
  • Digital media creators and distributors.
  • Entertainment companies.
  • Internet and e-commerce businesses.
  • Print media.
  • Radio and broadcast television outlets.
  • Streaming services.
  • Infrastructure and devices.

We also leverage BakerHostetler’s almost 1,000 attorneys in 17 offices nationwide to counsel industry clients in multiple areas of law. We address myriad issues of concern and relevance to our communications industry clients with timely, practical advice that protects their interests and advances their goals.

More »

Our scope of services includes:

Regulation and compliance: Our comprehensive regulatory and compliance knowledge covers the local, state and federal arenas, and we have spent decades developing solid working relationships with regulators and decision makers. We are prepared with the appropriate resources to handle anything from an individual FCC complaint to a national telecom merger.

  • Antitrust issues.
  • Compliance/rulemaking.
  • Federal (including regulatory approvals, FCC oversight of broadcast and cable television, broadband and telecommunications, rulemaking proceedings, complaints, enforcement actions, compliance and consumer protection issues).
  • State and local provisions (tariffs and certification, franchising, interconnection agreements, rights of way, pole attachments, rulemakings, audits, complaints, etc.).

Federal and state policy: Our bipartisan team of professionals includes former officeholders, regulators and government staff members and we leverage their experience to help shape policy outcomes.

  • Government affairs.
  • Public policy and lobbying services.

Media Mergers and Transactions: We are a leading advisor for companies focused on both content and distribution in the media industry, providing counsel regarding stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, international joint ventures, licensing arrangements, and more.

  • Licensing and syndication services.
  • Media financing.
  • Mergers and acquisitions.
  • Venture capital and investment.
  • Technology and IP transactions.

Digital Assets and Data Management: We counsel clients concerning how they manage and use information, comply with regulations, incorporate new technology, and defend against internal and external threats. Within this comprehensive group are focused teams that provide advice on advertising, marketing and digital media law, as well as digital transformation and the data economy.

  • Cybersecurity advisory.
  • Security incident response.
  • Privacy governance.
  • Information governance.
  • Regulatory matters.
  • Compliance.
  • Litigation.
  • Emerging technology, including the Internet of Things.

First Amendment and Media Law: We are particularly well known for counseling media companies and the journalists who work for them regarding First Amendment and media law. We are experienced in resolving issues across emerging content platforms and those that impact a variety of audiences.

  • Copyright.
  • Digital content.
  • E-commerce.
  • Libel and defamation.
  • Licensing.
  • Litigation.
  • Open records.

Intellectual property: We are dedicated to helping our clients strategically grow, secure, protect, defend and enforce their valuable patent and trademark assets, nationally and around the world.

  • Licensing.
  • Litigation.
  • Patent infringement claims.
  • Patent prosecution.
  • Trademark issues.

Tax: We have one of the nation’s strongest tax practices, with more than 70 attorneys who advise clients on optimizing their tax strategies on all fronts: international, federal, employee benefits, state and local.

  • Transactional tax.
  • Tax controversy and litigation.
  • International tax.
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation.
  • State and local tax.

Select Experience

Mergers and acquisitions
  • Advised the E.W. Scripps Company in a merger and a related spin transaction with Journal Communications involving broadcast operations and newspapers in multiple markets.
  • Represented a leading streaming media provider in its acquisition of the streaming and downloadable content of a major electronic and mobile device manufacturer, which involved complex data privacy issues and content licenses.
Intellectual property
  • Managed the development of several patent portfolios for a wireless technologies company whose devices are at the core of mobile devices, networks and services worldwide and that counts many leading brands among its licensees.
  • Worked with a startup client as acting general counsel to secure worldwide patent and trademark rights and to successfully launch an international telecommunications system for underdeveloped countries.
Media and First Amendment
  • Represented a nonprofit firm, a major national newspaper and others in a libel suit in New York arising out of the content of an advertisement published in the newspaper and on the Internet.
  • Represented a publisher in copyright infringement actions in New York and California involving claimed rights to photographs and manuscripts.
More »

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Associate Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Atlanta
Partner Atlanta
Partner Atlanta
Partner Seattle
Partner Cleveland
Partner Dallas
Partner Atlanta
Partner Atlanta
Counsel Atlanta
Partner Cleveland
Partner Costa Mesa
Partner New York
Partner Philadelphia
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Counsel Philadelphia
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cincinnati
Associate Atlanta
Counsel Washington, D.C.
Counsel Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Philadelphia
Partner Philadelphia
Associate Seattle
Counsel Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner New York
Partner Atlanta

Experience

Mergers and acquisitions
  • Advised the E.W. Scripps Company in a merger and a related spin transaction with Journal Communications involving broadcast operations and newspapers in multiple markets.
  • Represented a leading streaming media provider in its acquisition of the streaming and downloadable content of a major electronic and mobile device manufacturer, which involved complex data privacy issues and content licenses.
  • Advised Advance Publications, Inc., on the sale of Fairchild Fashion Media and the Fairchild summits and event business to Penske Media Group.
  • Advised cloud contract center software provider Uptivity in its acquisition by inContact for $8.8 million in cash and approximately $37 million in stock.
  • Represented a media conglomerate in the acquisition of six broadcast television stations and an Internet news-gathering business.
  • Advised a joint venture between a wireless technologies company and a Japan-based conglomerate that conducts research and development in the fields of machine-to-machine communications and the Internet of Things. In a single year, we filed nearly 100 patent applications for the new venture.
Intellectual property
  • Managed the development of several patent portfolios for a wireless technologies company whose devices are at the core of mobile devices, networks and services worldwide and that counts many leading brands among its licensees.
  • Worked with a startup client as acting general counsel to secure worldwide patent and trademark rights and to successfully launch an international telecommunications system for underdeveloped countries.
Media and First Amendment
  • Represented a nonprofit firm, a major national newspaper and others in a libel suit in New York arising out of the content of an advertisement published in the newspaper and on the Internet.
  • Represented a publisher in copyright infringement actions in New York and California involving claimed rights to photographs and manuscripts.
  • Represented a newspaper in a civil rights action against a governor and state agencies for denying the newspaper’s First Amendment rights to comment freely on the governor’s actions.
  • Vetted numerous manuscripts, including the best-selling biography of a former U.S. president.
  • Served as co-counsel for John and (the late) Patsy Ramsey in successfully defeating defamation lawsuits accusing the couple of murdering their daughter, JonBenet Ramsey.
  • Served as lead trial and appellate counsel for Hustler Magazine in a right of publicity claim arising from publication of a news article and images of the late Nancy Benoit, a well-known professional wrestler and victim of a highly publicized murder in 2007. 
Regulation and enforcement
  • Participated in the $3 billion acquisition of an operator of multiple major cable television systems by, among other things, achieving a waiver of the statutory cross-ownership restriction that otherwise would have prohibited the transaction.
  • Secured a victory at the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of a telephone company in a class action case involving claims of negligent billing practices.
  • Participated in the strategy and brief preparation for defending a leased access producer’s challenge to a cable operator’s rates, terms and conditions of carriage, which resulted in dismissal of the complaint by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and in settlement of the subsequent appeal approved by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Intellectual Property ‒ Ohio (2011 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property ‒ Georgia (2017 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property ‒ Pennsylvania (2007 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property: Litigation ‒ District of Columbia (2015 to 2019)
    • Intellectual Property: Patent Prosecution ‒ District of Columbia (2015 to 2019)
    • Intellectual Property: Trademark & Copyright ‒ New York (2014 to 2020)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Intellectual Property – Copyright (2015 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property – Patent Litigation: Full Coverage (2015 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property – Patents: Prosecution (Including Re-Examination and Post-Grant Proceedings) (2015 to 2020)
    • Intellectual property – Trade Secrets (Litigation and Non-Contentious Matters) (2017 to 2020)
    • Intellectual property – Trademarks: Non-Contentious (Including Prosecution, Portfolio Management and Licensing) (2019, 2020)
  • Daily Report Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year (2017)
  • IAM Patent 1000 ‒ DC Metro Area (2015 to 2020); Georgia (2019, 2020); Illinois (2019, 2020); Pennsylvania (2015 to 2020); Washington (2015 to 2020)
  • WTR 1000 – The World's Leading Trademark Professionals ‒ Firm and attorney rankings (2013 to 2019)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
    • Copyright Law: National (2012 to 2020); Atlanta (2019, 2020); New York (2018 to 2020); Philadelphia (2014 to 2020)
    • Intellectual Property Law – Orlando (2011 to 2020)
    • Litigation – Intellectual Property: National (2012 to 2020); Chicago (2019, 2020); Cincinnati (2012 to 2020); Cleveland (2012 to 2020); Columbus (2017 to 2020); Houston (2018 to 2020); New York (2012 to 2020); Costa Mesa (2013 to 2020); Orlando (2012 to 2020); Philadelphia (2014 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2017 to 2020)
    • Litigation – Patent: National (2014 to 2020); Chicago (2019, 2020); Cincinnati (2012 to 2020); Cleveland (2014 to 2020); Houston (2018, 2019); Philadelphia (2014 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2014 to 2020)
    • Patent Law: National (2012 to 2020); Atlanta (2016 to 2020); Chicago (2020); Cincinnati (2012 to 2020); Philadelphia (2014 to 2020); Seattle (2017 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2013 to 2020)
    • Trademark Law: National (2015 to 2020); Cleveland (2017 to 2020); New York (2017 to 2020); Philadelphia (2014 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2017 to 2020)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

Key Contacts