Based on a survey of corporate counsel at Fortune 1000 companies, Mr. Beck was one of only 29 attorneys in the entire country to have been selected for two years in a row by corporate counsel as providing "Outstanding Client Service." In 2010, Mr. Beck was named the Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year by Intellectual Property Magazine at a ceremony in London, England. Although he has handled government contract, product liability and antitrust (civil and criminal) litigation in the course of his career, he currently focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation, particularly copyright, and on consumer product, FDA and NHTSA recalls.

Copyright

Mr. Beck has served as lead counsel in some of the most important copyright cases in the United States. Several of his reported cases are now included in standard law school case books. As a result, Mr. Beck has been asked to discuss his cases at law schools including Harvard, Stanford, The University of Texas, Duke and other institutions and in countries ranging from Russia to India. In addition to litigation in courts throughout the country, Mr. Beck has served as mediator in a number of copyright infringement disputes involving works ranging from motion pictures to architecture, and was named a "Power Mediator" by The Hollywood Reporter.

Product Recalls

Mr. Beck designed and helped quarterback one of the most successful recalls in Consumer Product Safety Commission history involving an appliance that allegedly caused at least 11 deaths. As a result of his work, he was invited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make a presentation to The U.S. Conference Board in Washington regarding recall techniques. At a subsequent public hearing in Washington, the Vice Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission referred to him as "one of the most knowledgeable persons in the country about consumer product recalls." Mr. Beck chaired the panel on the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act at the annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel in the Fall of 2009 in Boston.

***

Prior to moving to Atlanta, Mr. Beck served as Legal Services attorney for indigents in Washington, D.C., produced a television program on the law for a Washington, D.C. television station, developed a mathematical model of the criminal justice system for the Urban Institute in Washington, and served in the U.S. Army, receiving the Meritorious Services Medal and two Army Commendation Medals.

Mr. Beck has received the prestigious Burton Award, which recognizes legal writing, for an article in Copyright World. He is a recipient of the Emory Medal, the highest award of the Emory Alumni Association. Mr. Beck was honored by Georgia State University’s College of Law and J. Mack Robinson College of Business with the prestigious 2012 Intellectual Property Legends Award for his outstanding achievements in intellectual property and for being “a highly respected and distinguished leader in the international legal community with nearly 40 years of copyright law experience.” In 2013, Mr. Beck was named a “Power 100 Advocate” by the organization On Being A Black Lawyer. He was recognized as a non-black attorney who is “strongly committed to diversity in the legal profession.” Mr. Beck has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 1995 and in 2015, he was listed in the areas of Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Law. He was named a 2012 “Atlanta Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Intellectual Property, a 2013 “Atlanta Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Entertainment Law – Music, Motion Pictures and Television, and a 2015 "Atlanta Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Copyright Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. Mr. Beck has been named a Georgia "Super Lawyer" in the areas of Intellectual Property Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Entertainment & Sports by Super Lawyers magazine. He was also listed in the 2009 and 2010 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Intellectual Property and was listed as #1 in the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions. Mr. Beck has been recognized as a top practitioner in Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets by Chambers Global 2013 and 2014. He was recommended by Legal 500 US for Copyright in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He was also honored in 2013 and 2014 as a "Leading Lawyer" by Legal 500 US. Mr. Beck was named a 2013 and 2014 "IP Star" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. He was recognized by Benchmark: Litigation as a 2011 "Litigation Star” for Georgia and is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Professional & Community Activities

Copyright Society of the USA, Former Trustee and Founder and Chair of Southeast Chapter

Emory University, Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law (Copyright, First Amendment)

Georgia First Amendment Foundation, Board of Directors

Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, Editorial Board

U.S. State Department, Lecturer on copyright in Russia, India, Belarus, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia

The Indian Journal of Intellectual Property Law, Advisor

2009 BTI Client Service All-Star Team

Alliance Theater, Past Board of Directors Member

Georgia Citizens for the Arts, Past Board of Directors

Leadership Atlanta, Class of 1985

Education

  • Harvard University, J.D. (1968)
  • George Washington University Law School, M.A., Urban Law
    summa cum laude
  • Emory University, B.A., History (1965)
    magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia (1969)

Who We Are

Suite 2800, 1100 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA, 30309-4528
USA
t +1 404.815.6406
f +1 404.541.3126

Joseph M. Beck

Experience Highlights

Asset sale for the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Inc.
Represented Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Inc. in the sale of Dr. King's papers to a buyer sponsored by the City of Atlanta. more
SunTrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin
Represented Houghton Mifflin in a copyright infringement suit prohibiting the publication of the book "The Wind Done Gone" because of alleged more
Hustlers, Inc. v. Thomason
Defended Sanctuary Records in a copyright suit.  The court granted Sanctuary's motion to dismiss the on the grounds that Sanctuary held a license more
Faulkner v. National Geographic
As lead amici counsel for more than two dozen academic associations (including the American Association for the Advancement of Science), more