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At precisely the same time that freelance journalist Kathy Braidhill was preparing this issue’s cover story on Los Angeles IP litigator Mark Litvack, his father, Sanford, was on the witness stand in a Delaware courtroom. As a former general counsel and executive at The Walt Disney Co., the elder Litvack was testifying in the shareholder case that arose out of the hiring (and, more importantly, firing) of Michael Ovitz as Disney’s president. While the timing of these two events was coincidental, their convergence nonetheless served to underscore the overarching reach of intellectual property matters in the current culture. Disney, after all, is a company that has thrived for decades on the strength of its IP assets. Indeed, the company would barely add up to a hill of beans were it not for the valuable copyright and trademark value of such worldwide notables as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snow White and the rest of the IP-protected Disney gang. Sanford Litvack certainly has had his share of IP-related adventures during the course of his legal career, which includes that stint as Disney’s GC. Likewise, his son Mark has had his own Hollywood-flavored legal adventures, including six years as the chief anti-piracy legal strategist for the Motion Picture Association of America. As you’ll read inside this issue, Mark Litvack has traded in his MPAA business card for a partnership at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles’ well-connected entertainment law firm. His father, meanwhile, has taken up residence just a few miles away in the Los Angeles office of Hogan & Hartson. As a partner there, Sanford Litvack isn’t focusing on intellectual property but instead emphasizes complex litigation, antitrust and other matters. Even so, the combined experiences of the two Litvacks cover a formidable and sweeping array of modern-day IP issues. Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll read about lawyers who are involved in fascinating and, often, cutting-edge issues in a variety of IP cases and controversies. From an account of a startup biotech company whose outside attorneys helped keep hope alive with some well-timed financing deals to a charity-minded IP associate who found professional (and personal) inspiration in a surfboard, the pages that follow are all devoted to enhancing your own experiences when it comes to intellectual property law. Oh yes, there’s also a bit of wishful — along with whimsical — thinking inside this issue. Just imagine, if you will, what could happen if Steve Jobs and his IP lawyers at Apple Computer really tried to work things out with The Beatles and their own Apple-flavored business entity. Or is that particular legal road simply too long and winding to contemplate? Steven Pressman Editor

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