Melissa Turcios advises wireless and cable service providers, communications industry trade associations, media companies, and others regarding regulatory, legislative, and compliance issues. Ms. Turcios joined Wilkinson Barker Knauer in 2016, after working as a field organizer in key democratic primary states for a presidential campaign. Prior to that, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas C. Miller, presiding judge of the civil division in the New Jersey Superior Court, where she focused on complex civil litigation and administrative appeals.

While in law school, Ms. Turcios served on the Editorial Board for Duke Law and Technology Review and the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law.  Her legal experience also includes internships with the National Academies of Sciences, where she contributed research and content to reports on privacy and data citation, and the Texas Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, where she counseled clients on intellectual property protection, corporate formation, and employment issues. Additionally, while a visiting student at Rutgers University School of Law, Ms. Turcios participated in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court.  Before law school, Ms. Turcios worked in the media industry for various national publications.

Prospective advertisers come to your station and describe their ideas for local ads. A realtor’s ad ends with “There’s no place like home.” A boat builder says he will tell buyers, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” And, a used car salesperson wants to say “I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.” These are pretty clever and, after all, they are everyday catchphrases, right?

Just don’t do it.

Advertising campaigns can be a source of legal liability for broadcasters when they merely allude to famous creative content that is protected under intellectual property laws. The recent decision in Lion’s Gate Entertainment, Inc. v. TD Ameritrade Services Company, Inc. demonstrates how broadcasters that publish ads containing pop culture references can run afoul of trademark rights and other legal issues.
Continue Reading Dirty Dancing with Trademark Rights: How Pop Culture References in Ads Can Raise Legal Issues