With a nationwide intellectual property and entertainment litigation practice with a client portfolio of A-List celebrities, Grammy Award-winning recording artists, major and independent record labels, sports personalities and Fortune 500 companies, Henry "Hank" J. Fasthoff IV joined Adams and Reese in 2011 as Special Counsel in the firm's Houston office.
Hank has been ranked for five consecutive years as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star in the fields of Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Litigation, and was ranked in Best Lawyers® 2013 and 2014 in Litigation - Intellectual Property Law. He has handled intellectual property and entertainment cases in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, and in cities throughout Texas.
Hank has a wide and varied practice in the fields of commercial litigation, intellectual property, sweepstakes, advertising, e-commerce, Internet, and entertainment matters involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, rights of publicity, privacy compliance, defamation, licensing, and transfers.
In the area of commercial litigation, he has broad experience involving international litigation, commodities fraud cases, contract disputes, employment litigation, creditor's rights, real estate litigation, and a host of business torts.
In the entertainment field, his clients include numerous Grammy and ASCAP Award-winning recording artists, songwriters, and producers, major and independent record labels, music publishers, management companies and advertising agencies. As outside general counsel for an independent record label and artist management company, he handled the drafting of music publishing agreements, producer agreements, distribution agreements, live performance agreements, endorsement agreements and licensing agreements, and advised his client on intellectual property asset protection and enforcement. He has drafted endorsement agreements for an actress/recording artist and an athletics coach, and regularly negotiates and drafts software, technology and digital media agreements and licenses, web design and development agreements, website user terms and conditions, privacy policies and mobile application software agreements.
Hank regularly counsels clients in connection with state and federal rules and regulations governing sweepstakes and skills contests, including those relating to compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Act, helping clients with state registration requirements, compliance with disclosure and display requirements on television, online, other media formats, and in retail outlets. He also prepares compliance opinion letters and Official Rules for sweepstakes or skills contests.
Hank has recovered dozens of infringing domain names on behalf of celebrities, athletes, sports personalities, Fortune 500 companies and other trademark owners, and has significant experience in litigating, as well as in the pre-litigation resolution of, numerous rights of publicity, rights of privacy and defamation issues on behalf of actors, musicians, and other individuals, frequently resulting in the removal of infringing content from websites, blogs and other online media without litigation. He also regularly performs trademark evaluation, clearance and prosecution before the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
Hank won a summary judgment dismissing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against Beyoncé and the co-writers of "Baby Boy," among others. The court found that Beyoncé's Grammy Award-winning song "Baby Boy" did not infringe the plaintiff's copyright. The decision was affirmed on appeal in all respects. He also won the dismissal of music publisher client in a copyright infringement in a Tennessee case involving allegations of music sampling. In a per curiam opinion adopting the “stream of commerce plus” test for personal jurisdiction (the position Hank advocated on behalf of his client), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision.
In his second year as an attorney, Hank obtained a precedent-setting ruling on behalf of an Internet service provider client against Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., Inc., in a case in which the Texas Public Utility Commission interpreted the Public Utility Regulatory Act’s Customer Disconnect Rules in a case of first impression.
Some of Hank's other representative experience includes:
- In representing a client in the aviation industry, obtained a permanent injunction against the client's former president who started competing domestic and foreign companies using the client's trademarks, trade dress, and trade secrets.
Represented Grammy Award-winning recording artist in royalty dispute with record label. Procured payment of all unpaid royalties owed by label to client.
In a case under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, forced the entry of a consent decree, judgment, and permanent injunction against a defendant who infringed the client’s rights in certain cast glass sculptures.
Won the dismissal of a client from a $30 million Civil Rights Act race discrimination suit when federal court granted the client’s motion to dismiss.
When an incumbent local exchange carrier (“ILEC”) threatened to terminate competitive local exchange carrier client’s telecommunications and Internet lines in violation of the parties’ interconnection agreement, secured temporary restraining order preventing the ILEC from disconnecting lines. Case settled in client’s favor within 14 days of TRO being signed.
Successfully settled a $15 million lawsuit brought against a music industry client within weeks of the case being filed. The client paid nothing to settle the case, and the plaintiffs released all of their claims against the client.
Hank is the publisher of EntertainmentLitigation.com, a blog featuring news and analysis of legal issues in the arts and entertainment industries, and is a former radio talk show personality and part time co-host of the Houston Business Show on Business Radio 650 AM in Houston.
In 2004, Hank received the Karen Susman Outstanding Volunteer of the Year from Texas Accountants & Lawyers for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal and accounting services to artists, entertainers, and arts nonprofits throughout Texas.
Among the people Hank admires are those who relentlessly pursue their goals by ethical means, even if the objective is unpopular with a crowd of naysayers. As an amateur baseball historian, the person he admires perhaps most of all (outside of his family) is Jackie Robinson for his unwavering courage and determination during the 1947 season when he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Robinson defined the saying that a man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
Hank also is an avid fan and follower of Florida State University football and baseball, and he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, playing outdoors, and coaching his son’s Little League baseball team.
Allen v. Destiny's Child, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63001 (N.D. Ill. filed July 21, 2009)
Wilson v. Barcella, 284 Fed. Appx. 210 (S.D. Tex. July 10, 2008)
Gateway Logistics Group, Inc. v. Dangerous Goods Management Australia Pty, Ltd., 2008 WL 1883914 (S.D. Tex. filed Apr 25, 2008) (establishing defamatory nature of statements)
Boss Mgmt. Servs. v. Acceptance Ins. Co., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69666 (S.D. Tex. Sep. 19, 2007)
Duke v. Caterpillar, Inc., 2005 WL 568071 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] filed Mar 10, 2005)
In re Mousa, 2004 WL 2823172 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] filed Dec 9, 2004)
Hartney v. Mustang Tractor & Equip. Co., 2004 WL 86140 (Tex. App.—San Antonio filed Jan. 21, 2004)
Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. 11C Music, 202 F.R.D. 229 (M.D. Tenn. 2002)
Information Broker Systems v. Southwestern Bell Tel. Co., 2000 WL 33599091 (Tex. P.U.C. 2000)
Presentations and Seminars
Intellectual Property Protection for Architectural Works & Other Designs,”2011 University of Texas Construction Law Seminar (September 2011)
Litigation Updates, 19th Annual Cutting Edge Music Business Conference Entertainment Law Seminar (September 2011)
The Role of Outside General Counsel for Music World Entertainment: A Conversation with Mathew Knowles and Hank Fasthoff, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting (June 2008)
Anatomy of a Copyright Infringement Case, State Bar of Texas 16th Annual Entertainment Law Institute: Legal & Business Aspects of Music, Film and Digital Entertainment (October 2006)
Construction Liens, Mechanic’s Liens, and Bonds: A Guide for Lenders and Developers, The University of Texas School of Law 39th Annual William W. Gibson, Jr. Mortgage Lending Institute (October 2005)
The Business of Film, Rice University Media Center – Lecturer on Copyright Law Topic: Pirates, Copiers & Plagiarists (February 2005)
Construction Litigation: Breach of Contract, Implied Warranty, and Negligence Claims, Construction Defects and Insurance Coverage in Texas Seminar, Lorman Education Services (May 2004)
Former radio talk show personality and part time co-host of the Houston Business Show on Business Radio 650 AM in Houston
Surviving Internet Service Provider Laws & Regulations, Texas Internet Service Provider Association (March 2001)
Are You The Master of Your Domain? Trademarks, Domain Names & Cybersquatting, The University of Texas School of Law 2000 Entertainment Law & Technology Conference (November 2000)