Dennis O. Cohen

Partner

New York
T +1 212.589.4288  |  F +1 212.589.4201

Dennis Cohen is a dispute counsel and trial lawyer who practices complex commercial litigation and white collar investigations. He often represents technology and media clients, and his practice includes issues relating to software, intellectual property, art and media. 

Dennis frequently writes and speaks on issues relating to software, intellectual property rights, and litigation and investigation techniques. 

Select Experience

  • In a bet-the-company technology litigation, served as U.S. lead counsel and won dismissal of copyright claims on summary judgment for a foreign software company against a multibillion-dollar software giant in federal court. The multijurisdictional litigation involved critical issues of technology law, including accusations of copyright infringement and breach of licensing contracts, and issues regarding propriety of benchmarking and reverse engineering. The case has influenced which parts of software are copyrightable under U.S. law and which portions of technology licenses are enforceable under U.K. and EU law.
  • Investigated and recovered $230 million of fraudulent transfers for a court-appointed receiver. A hedge fund transferred money belonging to the receivership to another hedge fund to avoid discovery of a Ponzi scheme and in furtherance of that scheme. The team sued the recipient hedge fund to reclaim the lost monies. The case was settled and the receivership received the bulk of funds it was owed.
  • Served as lead counsel representing an art collector in a case concerning the identification of, provenance of and rights to allegedly stolen 14th- and 15th-century artwork.
  • Served as lead counsel representing a production company against a former athlete in federal and state courts regarding film revenue rights.
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Experience

  • In a bet-the-company technology litigation, served as U.S. lead counsel and won dismissal of copyright claims on summary judgment for a foreign software company against a multibillion-dollar software giant in federal court. The multijurisdictional litigation involved critical issues of technology law, including accusations of copyright infringement and breach of licensing contracts, and issues regarding propriety of benchmarking and reverse engineering. The case has influenced which parts of software are copyrightable under U.S. law and which portions of technology licenses are enforceable under U.K. and EU law.
  • Investigated and recovered $230 million of fraudulent transfers for a court-appointed receiver. A hedge fund transferred money belonging to the receivership to another hedge fund to avoid discovery of a Ponzi scheme and in furtherance of that scheme. The team sued the recipient hedge fund to reclaim the lost monies. The case was settled and the receivership received the bulk of funds it was owed.
  • Served as lead counsel representing an art collector in a case concerning the identification of, provenance of and rights to allegedly stolen 14th- and 15th-century artwork.
  • Served as lead counsel representing a production company against a former athlete in federal and state courts regarding film revenue rights.
  • Served as lead trial and appellate counsel in a successful action concerning the rights of an artist vis-a-vis a gallery owner and other parties. 
  • Served as lead counsel in a matter concerning the validity and terms of end-user license agreements.
  • Persuaded the trial court to dismiss all material causes of action in litigation where a commercial landlord was sued by a tenant for millions of dollars for allegedly causing delays in the opening of a luxury retail business. Secured success on appeal. After several years of motion practice and discovery and careful examination of the facts, the team developed incontrovertible evidence that contractor failure and the tenant's own mismanagement had caused the delays, absolving the landlord of liability.
  • As a member of the BakerHostetler team serving as counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, has investigated accounting-related matters as well as litigated the SIPA trustee's subsequent transferee cases. Investigations on behalf of the SIPA trustee have involved collaboration with the United States Attorney's Office, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly handling initial document management and the winding down of the largest-ever Ponzi scheme.
  • Obtained dismissal by forum non conveniens in state court for an out-of-state manufacturer against a competitor.
  • Represented a financier in litigation to recover $1.5 million on a note. Negotiated a settlement that granted the client all the money that was owed to him, including interest, despite attempts from the defendant to delay judgment and prove that the money was unrecoverable.
  • Assisted in obtaining full dismissal of a multicount felony indictment against the president of one of New York City's largest heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors. The team used its knowledge of the New York construction industry to persuade prosecutors that the client was not the proper target of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into corrupt billing practices of general contractors, who exploited subcontractors to overcharge high-end construction clients.
  • Represented a high-profile witness in an FBI sports gambling investigation, preparing the client for witness interview by the FBI and prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York.
  • Served as counsel on a multicount felony trial, including handling jury selection, delivering the opening statement, arguing motions in limine and conducting witness cross-examination.

Recognitions

  • New York Metro Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2013 to 2015)

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association

News

Press Releases

Community

  • New York University School of Continuing and Professional Education: Guest lecturer, certificate program in forensic accounting
  • New York University Alumni in Technology: Panelist
  • Long Island Children’s Choir: Board Member

Pro Bono

  • Briefed, argued and won a criminal appeal, including constitutional issues, for which he was sworn in as a Special Assistant District Attorney by New York D.A. Robert Morganthau.
  • Represented several women in securing divorces in cases involving spousal mistreatment. In one case taken to trial, the defendant husband agreed to a favorable custody arrangement after the team put on his client's case-in-chief.
  • Has represented a range of pro bono clients in court and otherwise, including an indigent criminal defendant, an asylum-seeker and others. 

Services

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2004
  • New York, 2004

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 2003
  • B.A., University of Rochester, 1997, cum laude

Blog

In The Blogs

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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
Ninth Circuit Draws Fine Line Around Fine Art Resale Royalties
By Dennis O. Cohen
May 12, 2015
In a partial victory for artists such as Chuck Close and the Sam Francis Foundation—and for other visual artists who sold early works for rent money before establishing their name and value—the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
Publish or Perish: Sony Releases Compilation of 50-Year-Old Bob Dylan Bootlegs to Comply with EU Directive
By Dennis O. Cohen, David M. McMillan
February 10, 2013
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
Fifty Shades of Gray Market Artwork
By Dennis O. Cohen
November 20, 2012
Droit moral – the legal doctrine that grants artists a moral right to dictate certain treatment of their artwork even after sale – has a firm foundation in European law and elsewhere, but has never found much support in U.S. jurisprudence...
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IP Intelligence: Insight on Intellectual Property
Art Sale Transactions: Consign Your Design
By Dennis O. Cohen
November 8, 2012
Most working artists make a living by creating valuable one-of-a-kind or limited-edition pieces. They then hand those pieces to a stranger to sell or display. Entrusting artwork to a gallery, auction house, or museum is an intimidating...
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