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Mark Sableman

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  • Overview
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  • Honors
  • Instruction
  • Noteworthy
  • Presentations
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Mark's practice focuses on facilitating clients' communications, in media, marketing and business.  He helps clients gather and publish news, build brands, fight infringement and false advertising, protect and use information technology, and conduct business in the online world.  In legal terms, he concentrates in intellectual property, media, and information technology law.

Mark is a trial lawyer, having spent more than nine months in federal and state courtrooms in trials of business, media and intellectual property cases. But he recognizes that most cases are resolved out of the courtroom, and he directs his practice toward effective and speedy procedures for resolving disputes, often using direct negotiations, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution techniques.  

Mark litigates trademark, copyright, patent, advertising, libel, privacy, unfair competition, and trade secret cases, as well as technology and Internet-related claims. He advises clients with intellectual property, media, technology, and Internet issues.

Mark has written one book, More Speech, Not Less: Communications Law in the Information Age, and more than a dozen law review articles and book chapters. His article on Internet linking law won the International Trademark Association's Ladas Award, and his article on artistic expression won a Burton Award for Legal Achievement. Mark has also taught Internet Law, and Censorship and Free Expression, at Washington University School of Law. He has been listed since 1995 in The Best Lawyers in America®.

Missouri Press-Bar Commission
Media Law Resource Center
Chair, Internet Law Committee (2008-2011)
Missouri Bar, Chair, Media Law Committee
(1995-97; 2006-2013)
Missouri Broadcasters Association
Board Member (2005-present)
American Civil Liberties Union - Eastern Missouri Affiliate
President (1992-1995)
Trustee (1988-1997; 2005-2010)
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
Board member (1996-2000); President (1998-1999)
Lydia's House
Board Member (2009-present)
St. Louis Journalism Review
Chairman of the Board (1996-2000)
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
International Trademark Association
International Association of Privacy Professionals
Client Choice Award by Lexology for Media and Entertainment Law in Missouri (2014)
Listed in "The Best Lawyers in America®" (1995-2016)
Named Lawyer of the Year for Trademark Law in St. Louis by "Best Lawyers®" (2013)
Listed in "Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers" (2005, 2013-2016)
Burton Award for Legal Achievement (2008)
Ladas Memorial Award for Best Professional Article on Trademark Law, from the International Trademark Association (2003)
Bar/News Media Award, from the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (1988)
Washington University School of Law
Adjunct Professor, Internet Law (2001-2008); Censorship and Free Expression (2006-present)
Webster University
Adjunct Professor, Media Law (1992-1996)
Mark is author and editor of the "Internet Law Twists and Turns" blog found at
Mark has been quoted on media, Internet and intellectual property law issues in various publications, including the New York Times Cyber-Law Times column, Wall Street Journal, B-to-B, National Geographic News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marketing News, Newsday, and New York Post.
"Big Data: Orwellian Abuses Versus Benign Benefits," Webster U Media Trends Conference, Geneva, Switzerland (April 4, 2014)
"Media perspectives and Interests," segment in "What You Need to Know About Public Records and Open Meeting" seminar, St. Louis (Jan. 30, 2014, Jan. 30, 2013 and Mar. 12, 2009)
Moderator, "Data Protection: Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid to Ask," MLRC Conference, London (September 23, 2013)
"Ads Made for Me," American Academy of Advertising, Albuquerque, NM (April 4, 2013)
"Mobile Privacy," American Business Media Digital Media Council meeting, New York (December 6, 2012)
"Fax, E-mail & Telemarketing," American Business Media Audience Development Committee, New York (June 21, 2012)
"Free Speech v. Trademarks: Communication in a Proprietary World," (co-presented with Bryan Wheelock) Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (June 13, 2012)
"Trademark Law: The Basics and the Bizarre," Thompson Coburn Rewind Client Seminar (June 6, 2012)
"Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws," Thompson Coburn TCLE Webinar (May 9, 2012)
"Fair Use for Filmmakers," St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (April 23, 2012)
"Data Privacy and what it means for freedom of information," Investigative Reporters and Educators Conference, St. Louis (February 24, 2012)
"IP 101: What You Need To Know About Intellectual Property Law and Your Business," Thompson Coburn Client Seminar (January 18, 2012)
"How Legislation and Regulation Can Impact Your Business Practices," American Business Media Executive Forum, Chicago (October 25, 2011)
"Data Privacy," Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis, May 12, 2011, and Chicago, October 25, 2011
"Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws," Thompson Coburn Client Seminar (November 4, 2010)
"Contracts, Copyrights and the Quirks of Protecting Your Creativity in the Electronic Age," St. Louis Writer's Guild (October 3, 2010)
"Copyright, Fair Use & Creative Commons," St. Louis Publishers Association (January 13, 2010)
"Behavioral Advertising Update," American Business Media Executive Forum, Austin, Texas (November 3, 2009)
"Copyright - Myths, Fair Use and Infringement," Media Literacy Week at Webster University (October 8, 2009)
"Online in '09: A Breakfast Conversation About Interesting Online, Marketing and Communications Law Developments," Thompson Coburn client seminar (September 15, 2009)
"Publishing Law Basics and the New World of the Google Book Settlement," St. Louis Publishers Association (May 13, 2009)
"Marketing and Advertising Legal Tips: Practical Techniques for Strong Trademarks, Effective Advertising and Keeping Your Competitors in Line," Thompson Coburn Client Seminar (February 11, 2009)
"What You Need to Know About Electronic Discovery," Thompson Coburn Client Seminar (October 23, 2008)
"Litigation in the Electronic Age: Pitfalls and Promises of e-Discovery," Arkansas Information Technology Symposium, Southern Arkansas University (March 14, 2008)
"Copyright: Beyond Myths and Old Wives' Tales," St. Louis Writer's Guild (July 7, 2007)
"Litigation in the Electronic Age: Pitfalls and Promises of eDiscovery," St. Louis Regional CIO Meeting (April 13, 2007)
"Marketing and the Law: How Not to Market Your St. Louis Attraction," St. Louis Attractions Conference (July 19, 2006)
Panel Chair, "Twisting in the Wind of Intellectual Property Enforcement: What's Left of the Right to Engage in Parody, Satire and Commentary," Media and the Law Conference, Kansas City, MO (April 8, 2005)
"Writers' Rights and Wrongs--A Guide to Meeting Legal and Ethical Expectations, and Protecting Your Own Rights, Too," St. Louis Writers' Guild (March 20, 2002); Midwest Mysteryfest (September 24, 2005); St. Louis Romance Writers (March 18, 2006)
"Things Free-Lance Writers Don't Even Know to Ask About," Missouri Press Women (January 8, 2005)
"Privacy and Publicity Rights," St. Louis International Film Festival (November 18, 2004)
"Handling High Profile Cases," St. Louis Legal Secretaries Association (September 11, 2004)
"Putting Electronic Discovery Theory Into Practice In Business Litigation," UMKC Seminar (May 10, 2004)
"Digital Millennium Copyright Act Practicalities," Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (August 27, 2003)
"The Magic of Copyright: How the Law Creates Wealth from (and Sets Limits on) Words, Images, and Music... and Why It Is Important to You," Missouri Scholar's Academy, Columbia, Missouri (June 19, 2003)
"Advertising by Facsimile: Illegal or Constitutionally Protected?" Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis Communications and the Media Committee Sponsored Seminar (July 24, 2002)
"Privacy - Its Shrinking Boundaries in the Electronic Era," American Association of University Women, Creve Coeur, MO (November 6, 2000)
"Legal Tips for the New Economy," St. Louis Business Journal Economic Forecast Breakfast (September 22, 2000)
"Link Law Update," The Law of Internet Business seminar George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, VA (June 7, 2000)
"The Controversy over Sensation and the Law of Sensation," American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri annual meeting (May 24, 2000)
“Internet Law Today: From Hosting Agreements to Linking Licenses, Domain Disputes to Metatag Mischief,” 18th Annual St. Louis Corporate Counsel Institute (1999)
Panelist, "The Media and Judicial Ethics," Forum on Judicial Independence, Fair and Unfair Criticism of Judges, sponsored by American Judicature Society, the Missouri Bar, BAMSL and Missouri League of Women Voters (November 21, 1998)
"Internet Law and Practicalities," Association of Microsoft Solution Providers (November 18, 1998)
"The Media, Information Privacy and the Health Care Field," Missouri Hospital Public Relations and Marketing Association, Lake of the Ozarks, MO (November 4, 1998)
"How to Make a News Subject Into a Millionaire: Lessons from Food Lion and Other Disastrous Recent Media Cases," Missouri Broadcasters Association convention, Lake of the Ozarks, MO (June 20, 1998)
"From Paper to Pay-Per: Copyright and Information Law Trends for Educators and Libraries," Copyright in an Educational Environment Conference, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL (April 25, 1998)
"The Future of Information Law in the Internet Age," University of Illinois College of Law Chapter of American Civil Liberties Union Chapter, Urbana, IL (April 9, 1998)
"Internet Law and Practicalities," St. Louis Chapter, Association of Information Technology Executives (March 26, 1998)
"Intellectual Property Overview for Museums and Educational Institutions," Annual Site Administrator's Conference, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks (March 26, 1998)
"Computer Discovery and Internet Jurisdiction," St. Louis Corporate Counsel Institute (October 30, 1997)
"Information Laws and Realities in the Age of Microsoft and Mega-Bucks," Annual convention of the Illinois Association of Museums, Collinsville, IL (October 16, 1997)
"Internet Law and Practicalities: Doing Business in the Information Age," Thompson Coburn client seminar (February 25, 1997)
"Copyright and Performance Rights in an Online Video World" (revised version) The Licensing Journal (January 2015)
"Copyright and Performance Rights in an Online Video World" IP Litigator (November/December 2014)
"Advertising Law: It’s Not Your Father’s First Amendment," (co-authored with Mike Nepple) ST. LOUIS BAR JOURNAL (Fall 2013)
"Consumer Attitudes Toward Relevant Online Behavioral Advertising: Crucial Evidence in the Data Privacy Debates," (co-authored with Heather Shoenberger and Esther Thorson of University of Missouri-Columbia) Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (Fall 2013)
"A B-to-B Carve-Out in Privacy Legislation," (co-authored with Tom Carpenter of Wexler Walker) National Law Journal (April 22, 2013)
"The mirage of ever-increasing legal protection for investigative reporting," Gateway Journalism Review (Spring 2013)
"Clearinghouse Opens for Protecting Brands on New Top-Level Domains," Thompson Coburn LLP IP News Alert (March 2013)
"Who owns Marilyn Monroe?" Gateway Journalism Review (Fall 2012)
"Missouri Recognizes Right to Deliver Unwanted Speech," (co-authored with Michael Nepple) American Bar Association Section of Litigation First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee website (July 25, 2012)
"Fourth Circuit Decision Sets Up Keyword Trademark Cases for Trial," MLRC MedialLaw Letter (April 2012)
"Reporter’s Testimony Found Critical in Privacy Lawsuit," MLRC MedialLaw Letter (February 2012)
"'We Know What You Like': Online Behavioral Advertising and the New Focus on Data Privacy," ST. LOUIS BAR JOURNAL (Summer 2011)
"Behavioral Advertising: Its Varieties and its Critics," Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (March 2011)
Editor, "MLRC Practically Pocket-Sized Internet Law Treatise," Media Law Resource Center Internet Law Committee (2009-2012)
"Where Are Those Simple Fair Use Guidelines?" Gateway Media Literacy Partners (October 3, 2010)
Editor and Contributor, MISSOURI BAR MEDIA LAW HANDBOOK (1st ed. 1997) and (2d ed. 2009)
"Journalist's Right to Privacy Primer," "Use of Intellectual Property in the Media," and "Internet Publishing," Missouri Media Law Handbook (2009 Missouri Bar Media Law Committee)
"Targeting With Others' Trademarks: The Uncertain Law of Keyword-Based Online Advertisements," Media Law Resource Center Bulletin (May 2008)
"Resolving Advertising Challenges Early and Efficiently," in Inside the Minds: Managing Advertising and Marketing Legal Issues (Aspatore Books 2008)
"Artistic Expression Today: Can Artists Use the Language of Our Culture?" 52 ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 187 (2007)
"Keyword-based Advertising: Filling in Factual Voids (Geico v. Google)," (co-authored with Jacob J. Jacoby) 97 TRADEMARK REPORTER 681 (2007)
"Protecting Your Business from Cyber-Opportunists," Saint Charles Business Magazine (October/November 2007)
"Assessing Consumer Understanding of the Advertisement's Message," in Advertising and Marketing Litigation Best Practices (Aspatore Books 2007)
"Don't Just Dash Off the Usual 'Nastygram,'" Midwest In-House (May 2006)
"Fair Comment, The 'Brightest Jewel in the Crown of the Law,' as Protection for Free Speech and Against Abusive SLAPP Suits," JOURNAL OF THE MISSOURI BAR (May-June 2005)
"Workplace Messages Create Recipe for Legal Problems," St. Louis Business Journal (May 6-12, 2005)
"Search Service Keyword-Based Advertising: Trademark Infringement or Fair Competition?" Media Law Resource Center Cyberspace Project (September 11, 2004)
Roundtable Participant, "A Gold Mine of Electronic Discovery Expertise: A Conversation Among Veterans of Electronic Discovery Battles," Law Practice Today, (July 2004)
"Link Law Revisited: Internet Linking Law at Five Years," 16 BERKELEY TECHNOLOGY LAW JOURNAL 1273 (2001)
"Internet regulator faces hurdles in quest for international control," National Law Journal (December 13, 2000)
"Though fame be narrow, FTDA protection holds," (co-authored with Christopher Bolinger) National Law Journal (May 31, 1999)
"The Hidden Camera Conundrum: A Media Lawyer's Perspective" in "Hidden Cameras Hidden Microphones," Radio and Television News Directors Foundation (1998)
"Missouri Employment Privacy Law" Media Law Resource Center (1998-Present)
"Business on the Internet, Part I: Jurisdiction," and "Part II: Liability Issues" 53 J. MISSOURI BAR 137, 223 (1997)
"Survey of Eighth Circuit Privacy Law" Media Law Resource Center (1996-Present)
"News Media Access to Computer Records: Updating Information Laws in the Electronic Age," 26 ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 349 (1991)
"The Court's Role In Interpreting Language in Libel and Slander Cases" 45 J. MISSOURI BAR 399 (1989)
"How To Prevent Defamation Claims," THE PRACTICAL LAWYER (1988)
"Negligence Is Not Corruption: The Scienter Requirement of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," (co-authored with Gary M. Elden) 49 GEO.WASH.LAW REVIEW 819 (1981)
Mark  Sableman
Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., cum laude (1979)
Articles Editor, Georgetown Law Journal
Northwestern University
M.S.J. (1973)
Grinnell College
B.A., with honors (1972)
Thompson Coburn LLP
Partner (1989-present)
Associate (1986-1988)
Reuben & Proctor, Chicago, IL
Associate (1979-1986)
The Washington Post
Reporter (1977)
Clearwater Sun
Reporter and Assistant City Editor (1973-1976)
Mark  Sableman
Mark  Sableman
Mark  Sableman