“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I have built my practice proving that, very often, it’s also an infringement on intellectual property.”
As a former collegiate scholarship athlete, Corky understands the demands of balancing obligations in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. As an intellectual property attorney with over 30 years of experience, he understands what it takes to protect a brand, a trademark, or publicity rights. He has been there – both on the field and in the courtroom.
Name, Image, Likeness – these are simply words to describe the intellectual property one has in themselves, whether it be a brand, an image, or a public persona. Even prior to the recently enacted NIL regulations, Corky has spent years developing, protecting, and enforcing these legal concepts.
He has experience filing and prosecuting federal trademark applications, managing and enforcing trademark portfolios, and litigating trademark matters. His litigation experience includes trademark and trade dress infringement claims, federal false advertising and unfair competition claims, counterfeiting, and unfair trade practices. He frequently assists clients with development and protection of their brands.
Corky has experience managing and enforcing the publicity rights associated with name, likeness, image, and persona. He has litigated these issues in courts across the United States as the primary intellectual property counsel to the Estate of James Brown, providing him with unique experience on these issues.
He has deep experience in other aspects of the entertainment world. Corky was regional counsel for the Recording Industry Association of America, enforcing copyrights against unlawful downloaders of music. His copyright practice regularly involves music publishing issues, royalty negotiation, and termination rights. He has taught copyright and entertainment law at the University of South Carolina School of Law, and participated as a speaker at numerous continuing legal education seminars on a variety of IP and ethics topics.
Corky is an intellectual property lawyer specializing in patents, trademarks and copyrights with offices in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. Corky has a broad and diverse intellectual property practice throughout the Southeast and in courts across the United States. He is about to celebrate his 50th year as a soccer player.
Honors & Recognitions
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®️, "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Intellectual Property, Columbia, SC (2022)
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®️ Intellectual Property since 2006, Copyright Law since 2011, Litigation - Intellectual Property since 2011, Litigation - Patent since 2011, Patent Law since 2011, Trademark Law since 2011
- Benchmark Litigation Local Litigation Star (2021)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent© Peer Review Rating
- Supreme Court of SC's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline (1995-1997)
- Supreme Court of SC's Commission on Lawyer Conduct (1997-1998; 2000-2004)
- SC Bar Ethics Advisory Committee - Chair
- "Legal Elite of the Midlands" - Intellectual Property
- Managing Intellectual Property, ''IP Stars"
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- Burr & Forman’s Intellectual Property Practice and Attorneys Recognized in Top Categories by IP STARSFirm News,
- Firm News,
- Firm News,
- Firm News,
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Professional & Community
- American Bar Association (Intellectual Property Law and Litigation Sections)
- Fédération Internationale Des Conseils En Propriété Intellectuelle (FICPI) - U.S. Section, Council Member
Legal Practice Assistant
Marie C. Chappell
- J.D., University of Nebraska (1990)
- B.S.E., Colorado School of Mines (1987)
- South Carolina
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- U.S. District Court - District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court - South Carolina
- U.S. District Court - Western District of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit