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Emerging Media and Technologies

We not only anticipate the legal questions raised by new technologies—we also help shape the conversations that determine what the answers will be. Plenty of lawyers and law firms are adept at advising on legal determinations that authorities have already made. Warner ’s Emerging Media & Technologies team is composed of lawyers who are futurists and techno-philes in their own rights. We actively participate in industry groups and cutting-edge legal actions in order to secure the rights of those building tomorrow’s means of communication.

Our clients range from startups responsible for some of the most innovative and awarded AR/VR devices and content on the market, to trade associations and established multinationals looking to capitalize on the rapid innovation happening across the technological spectrum. Examples of what the lawyers on our team have done include:

  • Filing a ground-breaking First Amendment lawsuit challenging a municipal ordinance, adopted in response to Pokemon Go, that purported to regulate the publication of location-based augmented reality games (Candy Lab Inc. v. Milwaukee County, No. 17-CV-569 (E.D. Wis. 2017)).
  • Advising landowners and software developers on the intersection of real property and free speech rights with respect to augmented reality displays.
  • Prepublication review of augmented and virtual reality content to minimize risk of legal liability.
  • Advising AR/VR publishers on risks of negligence, personal injury, and products liability.
  • Marketing and advertising advice to AR/VR publishers.
  • Drafting privacy policies and terms and conditions for AR/VR and other digital content in anticipation of novel and emerging privacy concerns.
  • Litigated a cutting-edge case now discussed in copyright textbooks that clarified the boundaries of copyright protection in digital imagery (Meshwerks, Inc. v. Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., 528 F. 3d 1258 (10th Cir. 2008) (Gorsuch, J.)).
  • Trademark litigation over one of the world’s popular trademarks in the virtual reality industry.
  • Advising the United States Senate on augmented reality legal issues.
  • Representing a global  trade association responsible for industry-leading conferences on augmented reality, virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), and wearable technologies.
  • Drafting several software contracts related to IoT and related applications.
  • Advising on privacy issues presented by drones and demonstrating thought leadership on drone legal issues.
  • Drafting requests for waivers from drone usage regulations.
  • Defending the intellectual property rights of content creators and device manufacturers in the augmented reality and virtual reality industries.
  • Obtaining removal of infringing, defamatory, and revenge porn content from social media sites and virtual worlds, including for global brands such as Starbucks and in new circumstances presenting issues of first impression.
  • Advising major brands on social media marketing and compliance with FTC regulations.
  • Drafting corporate social media policies and responding to employee misuse of social media.
  • Educated judges, attorneys, and businesspeople in the legal issues arising from social media, AR/VR, and drones.
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Services

Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality / Mixed Reality

Immersive forms of digital expression are poised to reshape society as thoroughly as the internet did twenty years earlier. Our team includes the first lawyer to blog on AR-related legal issues (since 2011, before hardly anyone outside the industry had heard the term “augmented reality”), the first to write articles and books on the subject, and the legal team responsible for the first constitutional challenge to a law regulating AR content. Several of our team members are also steeped in traditional media law and litigation, providing a broader context for understanding the legal doctrines that govern newer media as well. We thoroughly understand these new media, the technologies behind them, and the many legal issues they raise. Even the U.S. Congress sought our advice on the subject when preparing to hold its first hearings on AR. We are uniquely equipped to help content creators and manufacturers in these burgeoning fields secure their rights and minimize their exposure to liability.

Drones

The drone industry is rapidly growing and with it, new regulations are emerging to govern drone usage for both business and recreational purposes. As new laws take effect and others adapt in this exciting industry, our attorneys remain on top of laws that may impose limitations on drone applications. In addition, our expertise in becoming certified drone pilots ourselves provides the intimate knowledge we need to guide you through the safety risks and potential liabilities. Drone operators and manufacturers must carefully consider the types of exposure that go along with drones, such as privacy concerns, legal liability, physical damage or product liability. Insurance coverage is also an important consideration, as many standard policies do not keep up with technology and gaps in coverage can occur. At Warner Norcross, we’ll address your unique concerns related to drones and work with you on policy applications. We’ll provide upfront counseling on risk management, exposure and claims-specific strategy, including litigation, so whatever issues arise, you’ll have the solutions you need to achieve your goals.

Internet of Things / Wearable Technology

Our clients include the designers and manufacturers of industry-leading wearable devices that scan, record, and contextualize users’ environments in savvy and cutting-edge ways. Still other clients employ location-aware technologies to deliver content and marketing to their clients’ customers in real time, or to track products and industrial processes. With billions more internet of things-enabled devices scheduled for release each year, we understand the economic importance of the IOT ecosystem. By combining our experience in such legal disciplines as privacy, cybersecurity, product liability, and commercial contracting, we offer a well-rounded perspective for helping you avoid the often-murky legal issues surrounding the internet of things.

Social Media

Over the span of merely a decade, online social media websites have evolved from frivolous distractions to a medium so important to commerce and communication that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared access to social media to be a fundamental constitutional right. Many companies and employees still wrestle with the thorny legal issues these ever-evolving platforms inject into employer-employee relations, intellectual property, advertising, defamation, and other fields. What is more, the rapid pace of technological change means that companies have difficulty keeping current with what “social media” even means, much less how to adapt their policies and processes to it. We’ve been advising dozens of companies through these matters since social media first appeared, and we stay on top of each change in the landscape because we use these platforms ourselves. All of this makes us well-positioned to guide your company through the legal minefields surrounding online digital communication platforms.