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Past president Bruno Codispoti lectures Columbian Lawyers Association on trademarks — Italian style

April 6, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
President Dean Delianites of the Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn hosted past President Bruno Codispoti for a continuing legal education lecture on “Intellectual Property: Italian Style” during the recent monthly meeting. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn got a taste of intellectual property — Italian style — during its monthly meeting in Dyker Heights on Tuesday courtesy of past President Bruno Codispoti.

“Bruno is a business attorney focusing in corporate, real estate and intellectual property matters. He is the past president of this wonderful organization and he was also past president of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Rockland,” said President Dean Delianites. “Everyone knows Bruno is a fantastic attorney and a great Italian-American. I could go on and on about his accomplishments. We’re proud to have him here to lecture for us.”

As Codispoti pointed out, intellectual property law, while different in the U.S., does have its roots in Italian culture stemming from the renaissance. Italy continues to lead the way in the intellectual property law field due to its robust fashion, automobile and wine industries.

“It all started a long time ago when people wanted to protect their inventions, and their art, but it wasn’t until recent times that the first patent law was enacted and, of course, it was invented in Venice, Italy because that’s where the renaissance was,” Codispoti said.

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“Back then the concept was the same — it was that the concept must be novel and original and the device must be useful and operable,” he continued. “After the discovery of America, a lot of artists came to America. It started with the Statute of Anne in England 1710 and then in our Constitution in 1787, we have the copyright clause.”

The Romans were among the first to use trademarks. One of the earliest uses of stamped trademarks was the aqueducts which were stamped to show where they were made.

Today, copyright law becomes a tough industry for lawyers who don’t typically practice to keep up with case law because modern technology has greatly affected the dissemination of ideas and artwork.

“It’s the proliferation of technology that spurred all of this,” Codispoti said. “Technology so easily disseminated people’s work so it has given rise to a lot of infringement. The problem is it’s the David-and-Goliath issue most of the time and to have a lawyer come in, to take something on a contingency to fight a big goliath, is very challenging for the lawyer for the plaintiff.”

Codispoti, a musician who admitted that he never wanted to be an attorney, said that his dream job was to be a record company executive. However, after law school he went to work in the field to try to help fellow musicians and hasn’t left it since.

While many of the members of the Columbian Lawyers don’t practice in the intellectual property law field, Codispoti explained to them that these issues are important for them to be aware of issues that their own clients could face so that they could properly refer them to other counsel.

“I want to enlighten them to spot the issues,” Codispoti explained. “Most of these practitioners don’t spot it. They have heard it now and they know which way to direct their questions.”


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