Robert Barnes is a partner in the Litigation Department of Kaye Scholer’s Los Angeles office. His litigation practice concentrates on intellectual property and employment disputes.
For almost thirty years, Robert has represented corporate clients seeking advice on complex human resources issues or engaged in employment disputes. He advises and litigates for employers in all industries on numerous aspects of state and federal wage and hour, discrimination, lay off and wrongful termination, and other labor and employment laws, and in structuring the employment-related aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions.
Robert has directed and personally conducted many in-house investigations of harassment, discrimination and employee misconduct allegations. He has successfully defended discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour and unfair labor practice claims, including class actions. Robert has written on the enforceability of restrictions on competitive activity in employment contracts.
Robert’s intellectual property practice focuses particularly on copyright, trademark, and patent litigation arising from the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries.
Robert represented MGM and Danjaq, the owners of the James Bond copyright, in the landmark case of MGM v. American Honda, establishing that the James Bond film character was itself a copyrighted property that could not be mimicked without a license from the owners of the copyright. He also successfully represented ABC and Granada Television against CBS’ claim to broad copyright protection in “Survivor,” a case that set the standard for producers’ rights in reality television programming. Robert also represented Warner Bros. in several disputes concerning profits accounting for successful television series.
Robert represented Sequenom in a series of patent infringement disputes arising from the breakthrough discovery that fetal DNA circulates in a pregnant woman’s blood. He has litigated trademark disputes over Internet domain names, and obtained injunctions against “cybersquatters.” He has written widely on legal remedies in domain name disputes.