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Gloria Franke Shaw

Los Angeles – Century City Office

Gloria Franke Shaw's practice focuses on protecting the ingenuity of some of Hollywood's leading creatives in film, television and digital media. She handles complex entertainment and intellectual property litigation for some of the most recognized names in the entertainment industry, including copyright and trademark infringement, idea submission, defamation, right of publicity, profit participation and breach of contract claims. She also advises entertainment and media companies on a broad range of legal issues impacting their content and business activities.

Gloria's career victories include the highly publicized dismissal of a copyright infringement suit against Seth MacFarlane that claimed the anthropomorphic teddy bear created by MacFarlane and featured as the lead character in the movie Ted, which grossed more than $500 million, was copied from the plaintiff's YouTube series character as well as major defense rulings for the producers of the horror film The Unborn (copyright infringement claim dismissed) and the reality TV series Ghost Hunters (breach of implied contract and breach of confidence claims dismissed).

Gloria is the co-chair of Katten's Los Angeles Women's Leadership Forum, which is dedicated to the strategic retention and advancement of women. She has served as a senior editor on the Southern California Law Review, and is the author ofThe Right of Publicity vs. The First Amendment: Will One Test Ever Capture The Starring Role?, 79 S. Cal. L. Rev. 945 (2006).

Shown below is a selection of Gloria’s engagements.

  • Representation of Seth MacFarlane, Media Rights Capital and Universal Studios in a high-profile copyright case. The plaintiff, Bengal Mangle Productions, had alleged in a suit filed in US District Court for the Central District of California in July 2014 that the anthropomorphic teddy bear from the movie Ted was "strikingly similar" to its character, Charlie, a teddy bear from the plaintiff's Web series. Katten successfully obtained stipulation for dismissal of the suit, which cannot be refiled.
  • Representation of certain defendants against claims of breach of implied contract and confidence relating to the TV series Ghost Hunters. Katten prevailed on a motion for summary judgment as to several defendants. The California Court of Appeal issued a rare Writ of Mandate ordering the trial court to grant judgment for the remaining defendant. The court issued a published opinion addressing a novel issue of the statute of limitations for idea theft claims in California.
  • Defense of 10 defendants (including production and distribution companies, producers and screen writer) against claims of copyright infringement and breach of implied contact regarding the horror film The Unborn. Prevailed on a motion for judgment on the pleadings arguing that the plaintiff's screenplay and defendants' film were not "substantially similar" as a matter of law. The district court's ruling was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Representation of certain defendants in an action alleging copyright infringement, breach of implied contract and breach of confidence regarding a TV series, where the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sitting en banc addressed the scope of federal copyright preemption of state law contract claims.
  • Representation of a sports agency and certain individual agents for a NBA player, in a ruling dismissing various commercial tort claims brought by the player's former agent against Katten's clients. On a motion to dismiss, the New York Supreme Court found that the plaintiff failed to state any cognizable state claims, and dismissed the action with prejudice and without leave to replead.
  • Defense of film producers, the director and writers of a film against defamation and false light claims brought by a Native American tribe for allegedly portraying them in a negative manner in the film. The US District Court for the District of New Jersey granted defendants' motion to dismiss, finding that the film is fictional, does not portray specific individuals and does not support a legal claim.
  • Representation of defendants in a trademark infringement action relating to use of a particular phrase in the title of the TV series The Biggest Loser.
  • Representation of defendant in an action alleging breach of contract, fiduciary duty and accounting by an actor over contingent participation from a long-running TV series.


Legal 500, 2019
Benchmark Litigation - Under 40 Hotlist, 2018
Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Southern California, 2015–2016
Variety, Legal Impact Report, Up Next, 2016
May 5, 2017
Co-presenter | Copyright Year in Review | Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association Spring Seminar 2017 | Del Mar, California
Gloria Franke Shaw


  • JD, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California


Legal 500
Benchmark Litigation - Under 40 Hotlist
Super Lawyers Rising Stars
Southern California, 2015–2016
Legal Impact Report, Up Next, 2016
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  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
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