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About me

Charles ("Chuck") Colman founded Charles Colman Law, PLLC, in January 2011 in order to provide cost-effective, industry-specific legal representation to individuals and companies in fashion, music, art, media, and new technology.  Chuck was previously a litigation associate at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he handled cases involving breach of contract, fraud, false advertising, trademark, and copyright, among many other areas of law.


Chuck has been an active voice in the emerging field of "fashion law."  From 2010 to 2013, he served as the Co-Chair of the Fashion Design Legislation Subcommittee at the American Bar Association. Chuck is also the sponsor of the newly created Fashion Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association.


In 2011 and 2012, Chuck was invited to deliver a series of guest lectures to BFA students at Parsons, The New School for Design. In Spring 2013, he co-taught an undergraduate course, "International Business Strategies and Fashion Law," at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, alongside FIT's Director of Entrepreneurship (and former CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels) Henry Welt.  In June 2013, Charles joined the full-time faculty of NYU School of Law; in January 2014, he took on the additional role of Faculty Fellow in NYU's Costume Studies M.A. Program.


Chuck regularly posts on the blog LAW OF FASHION, addressing legal issues of interest to individuals and companies in fashion, media, and art.  (The blog's affiliated LinkedIn group, also called LAW OF FASHION, counts among its 4,700 members many leading law firm partners and in-house counsel from around the world.)  Chuck has also had articles published (or accepted for future publication) by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology Digest, and numerous other publications.  His first book, on the social history of design patents, will be published by Cambridge University Press in late 2016.


Chuck is the author of a chapter on intellectual property law in West's Navigating Fashion Law: Leading Lawyers on Exploring the Trends, Cases, and Strategies of Fashion Law, and contributed a section on copyright law to the highly anticipated second edition of Barbara Kolsun and Guillermo Jimenez's Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys.  Chuck's writing on IP law has also appeared in Professor Alan Nemeth's undergraduate textbook v. (versus): Case Law, Concepts, & American Society (Cognella 2012).


Chuck has been profiled by Forbes and by top-ranked legal industry blog Above The Law, and has been quoted in publications ranging from fashion industry trade magazines to periodicals for IP attorneys to mainstream media outlets both in the U.S. and abroad. His firm's matters have been covered by the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesNew York Magazine, The Atlantic, and Time, among other prominent publications.


Chuck graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in Linguistics (cum laude, distinction in major), and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School (James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar), where he served as an Articles Editor for the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts.  Chuck is admitted to practice law in New York and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Trademark: 20%
    4 years
  2. Copyright: 20%
    4 years
  3. Appeals: 15%
    4 years
  4. Licensing: 15%
  5. Other: 30%
  6. More 



Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:


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Contact info

Charles Colman Law, PLLC

419 Lafayette Street
6th Floor
New York, NY, 10003


NYCurrently registered 201007/10/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
James Kent Scholar; Harlan Fiske Stone ScholarColumbia Law School2009
Cum laude; Distinction in MajorYale University2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Faculty FellowNYU Costume Studies M.A. Program2014 - Present
Acting Assistant ProfessorNew York University School Of Law2013 - Present
Founder/AttorneyCharles Colman Law, PLLC2011 - Present
AssociatePatterson Belknap Webb & Tyler2009 - 2010
Association namePosition nameDuration
The Center for the Study of Fashion, Law, and SocietyFounder2013 - Present
New York City Bar AssociationSponsoring Member, Fashion Law Committee2011 - 2014
American Bar AssociationVice-Chair, Special Committee on Copyrights and New Technologies2011 - 2012
American Bar AssociationCo-Chair, Subcommittee on Fashion Design Legislation2010 - 2013
New York State Bar AssociationCo-Chair, Publications Subcommittee, Animal Law Committee2010 - 2012
Publication nameTitleDate
Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law"The History and Principles of American Copyright Protection for Fashion Design" [five-article series]2015
Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology"Design and Deviance: Patent as Symbol, Rhetoric as Metric"2015
University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online"Trademark Law and the Prickly Ambivalence of Post-Parodies"2014
Fashion Law (Kolsun & Jimenez, eds., 2nd ed.)"Copyright in Fashion" [chapter]2014
Vestoj: The Journal of Sartorial Matters"Fashion, Sexism, and the United States Federal Judiciary"2013
Harvard Journal of Law and Technology Digest"The TTAB's Dangerous Dismissal of 'Doubt'"2013
Portfolio Media (Law360)"Post-Kirtsaeng, 'Material Differences' Between Copyright and Trademark Law's Treatment of Gray Goods Persist"2013
Navigating Fashion Law (West Group publication)"An Overview of IP Issues Relevant to the Fashion Industry"2012
v. (versus): Case Law, Concepts, & American Society (Alan Nemeth ed. 2012)"An Introduction to the Law of [Digital] Sampling"2012
Intellectual Property Magazine"Lessons in Trademark Enforcement: Bullion without Bullying"2012
Intellectual Property Magazine"Handbags at Dawn" (Gucci v. Guess case analysis)2012
Landslide, ABA Intellectual Property Law Section"A Red-Leather Year for Aesthetic Functionality"2011
[to be submitted to law reviews in Feb. 2015]"Patents and Perverts"N/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Columbia University School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor2009
Yale UniversityLinguisticsBA2003
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
UQAM's Inaugural "Law and Context" Conference"Intersectionality, Gender, and Sexual Orientation"2015
Reimagining IP/Gender: The Next Ten Years of Feminist Engagement with Intellectual Property Law"Gendered Understandings of the Role and Scope of IP"2015
Penn Law 2015 IP Law Symposium"A Discussion of the Past and Future of Design Patent Doctrine"2015
NYU Steinhardt, Department of Art and Art Professions"re[intent]ion: Adaptation and Subversion of the Wearable"2015
Copyright Society of the USA / NYU Media Law Collaborative"Designing a Greater System of Protection for Fashion"2015
ABA Design Law Committee"A Cross-Jurisdictional Perspective on Trade-Dress Functionality"2015
Virginia Journal of Law and Technology Spring 2014 Symposium"The Future of Fashion Law in Academia"2014
Third Annual Trademark Works-in-Progress Colloquium at American University"Trademark Law and the Prickly Ambivalence of Post-Parodies / Copyright Uses of Trademarks"2014
Program on "Law and Economics for Society""A Comparative Look at U.S. and Italian Trademark Law"2014
NYU Law School Tri-State Region IP Workshop"Aesthetic Functionality and Genericism"2014
NYU Art Law Society"Recent Developments in Fashion Law"2014
ICLE Intellectual Property Law Spring Seminar 2014"Harmless Fun or Trademark Dilution? 'Parodies' of Luxury Fashion Goods"2014
First Annual Mosaic Conference: Diverse Voices in IP Scholarship"Patents and Perverts"2014
Fashion: Now & Then (LIM College)"Trademark Law and the Prickly Ambivalence of Post-Parodic Fashion"2014
CUNY Graduate Center"Fashion and the Law"2014
University of Pennsylvania School of Law"The Year in Fashion Law"2013
UIA Symposium: "The IP and Distribution Issues Facing the Industry Today""Who's Afraid of Parallel Imports?"2013
New York Law School"The Evolution of Fashion Law"2013 CLE"Copyright Protection in Fashion"2013
Institute for Information Law and Policy"The Laws of Magic"2013
Fashion Institute of Technology"International Business Strategies and Fashion Law" (co-taught course)2013
Columbia Law School 2013 Fashion Law Panel"Evaluating Tiffany v. Costco"2013
Brooklyn Law School"(Anti-)Competitive Effects of Trade Dress Protection in the Fashion Industry"2013
American Bar Association"Copyright Trolls Are Never in Fashion: Copyright Infringement Suits and Strategies for Fighting Back"2013
The Copyright Society of the U.S.A."Why Copyright: Going Beyond the Parameters of the Copyright Act"2012
Presentation to Fashion Institute of Technology faculty“Introduction to Intellectual Property Law"2012
NYCLA Fashion Law Subcommittee“2nd Annual Review of Fashion Law”2012
New York County Lawyers' Association"Getting on the Catwalk: Careers in Fashion Law"2012
Institute for Information Law and Policy, NYLS"IP Surprise: Yoga and Dance"2012
Howard Law School"Fashion Law Roundtable"2012
Cardozo Law School"Evaluating Louboutin v. YSL"2012
Cardozo Law School"Beyond the Billboard: Advertising Law in the Fashion Industry”2012
Brooklyn Law School, 2012 Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium“Evaluating the Innovative Design Protection Act of 2012”2012
Asian American Bar Association of New York"Counseling the Fashion Industry Client"2012
NYU Law School Art Law Society"Fashion Law Update: Lunch with Chuck Colman"2011
New York City Bar Association - 2011 Career Panel"Careers in Fashion Law"2011
New York City Bar Association"The Business of Beauty"2011
Institute for Information Law and Policy, NYLS"IP Surprise: DIY"2011
Columbia Law School"What Is 'Fashion Law'?"2011
Brooklyn Law School, 2011 Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium"Illuminating Focus on the Blurred Line Between Aesthetics and Functionality"2011
Yale Alumni Association of Metropolitan New York"Key Legal Issues in Law and the Arts"2010