Justen Barks

Legal Associate


Will be presenting “The Legal Landscape of Latverion: The Secret Wars of Comic Creators and What We Can Learn From Them”

Comics creators and wannabes can understand the foundation of intellectual property protection to how those fundamentals are applied in some of the biggest cases in entertainment law. It may be difficult to believe it, but the book, television, movie, and even the music industries often rely on law created in the worlds of comic book creation and publication. Attendees will learn basic information about how to protect their own works through copyright, trademark, and contract law. Then, we will dive into the deep end, looking at lawsuits involving characters—including Superman, Mickey Mouse, the Batmobile, Jonah Hex, and Spawn—and creators—including Neil Gaiman, Todd McFarlane, and Jack Kirby—to better understand how to protect works and income streams for authors and artists alike.

Justen is an associate in the Vethan Law Firm’s Houston office and practices in entertainment and intellectual property transactions, litigation, and appeals. Justen has successfully negotiated film options, international book publishing agreements, and protected the rights and intellectual property portfolios for brands around the world. His intellectual property practice includes a mix of work with the Copyright Office, Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and copyright, patent, and trademark litigation in state and federal courts. Justen helps his entertainment clients by counseling on the creation and retention of multiple royalty streams, drafting and negotiating industry-specific agreements, and litigation in the areas of copyright infringement, exclusive representation agreements, and claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In addition to his work as an attorney, Justen is an adjunct professor of Entertainment Law at the University of Houston Law Center (2014 to present), and is a ReverbNation Curator in the area of electronic and dance music. Justen was named as one of the Top Lawyers in Houston for his entertainment law practice by Houstonia Magazine in 2016 and 2017.

Alex A. Ayala Written by:

Writer, artist and Founder for Comic Indie, with a passion for the art of storytelling, art, and entertainment. By day he works as a Systems Engineer, and by night flying through the universe of Indie Comics.

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