Overview

Sabina Vayner focuses her practice on trademark, copyright, and advertising litigation, enforcement, and counseling matters. She has substantial experience litigating federal trademark, copyright, false advertising, and trade dress infringement actions, and regularly represents clients in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Ms. Vayner also routinely counsels clients on a variety of trademark, copyright, and advertising matters. Recently, Ms. Vayner gained valuable experience and insights into the demands on, and role of, in-house counsel while on a year-long, part-time secondment in the Entertainment Group (Consumer Advertising) at AT&T Inc.

For the past six years (2013-2018), Ms. Vayner has been recognized as a Georgia "Rising Star" in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine. She was selected in 2014 as one of Georgia Trend magazine's 40 Under 40 and in 2017 as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40. Ms. Vayner has also been recognized by the World Trademark Review as a leading trademark practitioner in the publication's annual WTR 1000 ranking for the past three years (2016-2018).

Ms. Vayner is a 2014 graduate of LEAD Atlanta and also a graduate of the Anti-Defamation League's Glass Leadership Institute, devoting significant time to community organizations and pro bono legal work. In May 2014, Ms. Vayner was recognized for her pro bono contributions by the Atlanta Intellectual Property Inn of Court, receiving the organization's annual Pro Bono Award. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Region of the Anti-Defamation League and was a member of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Young Alumni Board from 2011-2015.

While in law school, Ms. Vayner served as an Executive Editor of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law and was a two-time recipient of the UVa Law Pro Bono Challenge Certificate of Recognition. During her undergraduate studies at the Terry College of Business, Ms. Vayner was a Leonard Leadership Scholar and recipient of the Undergraduate Certificate in Personal & Organizational Leadership. Ms. Vayner is also fluent in Russian.

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Experience

Defended HarperCollins Publishers, one of the world’s largest book publishers, against allegations of copyright infringement brought by a photographer whose photograph appeared on the cover of a book published by HarperCollins, resulting in the plaintiff’s dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice. Rank v. Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. et al., No. 1:09-cv-02103 (N.D. Ga.).

Represents Masterfile Corporation, a stock photography licensing company, in copyright enforcement matters and copyright litigation against unauthorized users of Masterfile's images.

Represents Royal Ten Cate (USA), Inc., a global leader in industrial textile fabrics, and its related companies in various trademark matters, including clearance, international registration and enforcement projects.

Represents WMS Gaming Inc., a leader in the video gaming equipment industry, in trademark litigation before federal trial and appellate courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. WMS Gaming Inc. v. WPC Prods. Ltd., 542 F.3d 601 (7th Cir. 2008).

Represented Georgia-Pacific in false advertising litigation against major competitor. Successfully settled prior to preliminary injunction hearing. Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP v. The Procter & Gamble Company, Case No. 1:09-CV-0729 (N.D. GA 2009).

Represents Flexitallic Investments Inc., a global industrial sealing solutions company, in setting a standard in the industry.  Often requested by customers by name, Flexitallic’s spiral wound gaskets, flanges, packing material, and other industrial sealing products service the needs of many, including refineries and manufacturing plants, where safety and reliability are paramount. It also provides products for use in missiles, ships, fuel cells, turbines, and other mission-critical products. We help Flexitallic protect its technology by providing patent advice, clearance, protection, and enforcement and protect its brand names by providing trademark advice, portfolio management, and enforcement.

Represents Diageo North America in a variety of trademark and unfair competition matters, including litigation in federal district court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, as well as trademark clearance and registration projects.

The firm advises companies on issues concerning enforcement of rights in copyrighted works created prior to the January 1, 1978 effective date of the 1976 Copyright Act, and concerning work for hire and renewal issues arising from proposed reproduction and distribution of pre-1978 copyrights.

Represents Citibank in general trademark enforcement matters, which included working with in-house counsel and other attorneys to successfully defend Citibank’s right to use the CHOICE brand credit card. Representation also included use of creative fee solutions for billing that allowed Citibank to meet internal financial goals.

The firm counsels Ian Falconer Ink Unlimited Inc., owner of the well-known OLIVIA children's book and television property, on domestic and international trademark portfolio issues, including search clearances, trademark registration, and enforcement.

Represented the National Football League and the New Orleans Saints in a trademark dispute involving rights in and to the designation “Who Dat”.
Represented the National Football League in rolling out a co-branding license program involving a wide variety of products.

Who Dat?, Inc. v. NFL Properties LLC, et al., Case No. 2:10-CV-02296-CJB-KWR (E.D. La.)

Successfully represented Chippendales USA LLC in employment and trademark litigation. A former dancer was discharged in February 2012 and signed a release of claims in exchange for severance payments. Notwithstanding having executed a model release, the plaintiff objected to the continued use of his image in company advertisements, including large posters at the Las Vegas airport. The plaintiff initially filed suit against our client in Nevada federal court focusing on right of publicity and trademark infringement claims. We wrote a strong Rule 11 letter on the intellectual property claims, prompting the withdrawal of the federal lawsuit.

The plaintiff then re-filed in Nevada state court for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The dancer claimed his female boss’s behavior toward him were outrageous and rose to the level of intentional infliction of emotional distress. The plaintiff made many public statements on Facebook and to TMZ about his lawsuit, which was also a violation of the non-disparagement provision in his severance agreement. The firm filed a motion for summary judgment in the state court lawsuit, arguing that the release of claims barred the claims asserted in the lawsuit. The judge ruled that the release of claims was valid and barred the dancer’s claims and dismissed the lawsuit. Walter v. Chippendales USA, LLC, et al., No. 12-1121 (D. Nev. filed June 27, 2012).

Represent a non-profit housing organization's domestic and international trademark portfolio, including domestic and international oppositions and cancellations for the non-profit organization. We have also provided counsel regarding potential trademark litigation. Specifically, we secured a favorable settlement in a case that centered on a declaratory judgment action seeking to invalidate the non-profit's mark.

Served as lead counsel for Masterfile Corporation, a stock photography licensing company, in copyright infringement litigation against a company that posted copies of Masterfile’s photographs on its website. Obtained an award of $150,000 in statutory damages, a permanent injunction, and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

Masterfile Corporation v. Development Partners, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-00134, 2010 WL 3603611 (E.D. Va. Aug. 16, 2010).

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Education

University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. (2008)

University of Georgia, B.B.A., Marketing & Distribution; minors in Sociology and French (2005) summa cum laude, with highest honors

Admissions

Georgia (2008)

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2012)

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (2011)

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (2009)

Supreme Court of Georgia (2009)

Georgia Court of Appeals (2009)

Georgia Lower Courts (2009)

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Professional & Community Activities

Anti-Defamation League, Southeast Region Board of Directors, Executive Committee Member

• National Civil Rights Committee, Member
• Southeast Region Board of Directors, Executive Committee Member
• Southeast Region Leadership Development Committee, Co-Chair
• Glass Leadership Institute, Class of 2010-2011

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Atlanta Intellectual Property Inn of Court, Member

International Trademark Association, Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Committee Member (2009-2014)

State Bar of Georgia, Intellectual Property Law and Sports & Entertainment Law Sections, Member

Copyright Society of the U.S.A., Member

University of Georgia, Terry College of Business Young Alumni Board, Member (2011-2015)

University of Georgia, Terry College Professional Women's Conference, 2012 Conference Co-Chair

LEAD Atlanta, Class of 2014

ServiceJuris, Steering Committee, Member (2009-2014)

State Bar of Georgia, IP Litigation Committee (2009-2011)

American Bar Association, Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments, Trademark Chapter Editor, Editing Assignments; Editorial Board Member (2009-2011)

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