Janet Fries

Of Counsel

Janet Fries is Of Counsel with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s intellectual property practice group and works in the Washington, DC office. She has represented numerous authors, artists, collectors, estates, art organizations, musicians, filmmakers, producers and Internet companies in connection with issues involving contract negotiation and preparation, web site review, copyright and trademark protection, brand management, and related matters. She counsels on copyright and trademark law, entertainment law and Internet law and also maintains an active pro bono practice.

Janet is on the Advisory Board for the American Law Institute (ALI) Restatement of Copyright project and is an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) IP Section, helping to shape ABA policies on intellectual property. She currently serves as chair of the ABA’s Copyright Division and is a member of the Copyright Reform Task Force.  She previously served as the chair of the Committee on Copyright & Social Media and chair of the Committee on Copyright & New Technologies. Janet maintains an active speaking schedule and regularly contributes to conferences on art law, copyright, and trademarks. Her publications include articles in the ABA’s Landslide magazine. She also serves as vice president of the board of the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts.

Janet is a trained mediator and has negotiated numerous settlements in all areas of copyright and trademark law. She has also litigated intellectual property disputes before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Janet is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School, where she teaches a seminar entitled “Art, Cultural Heritage & the Law.” She is also an adjunct faculty member at

American University Washington College of Law where she teaches a seminar in “Law & the Visual Arts.” In addition to her legal practice, Janet is an experienced professional editorial and fine art photographer. Her work has been published and exhibited widely and has been acquired for the permanent collections of museums including the National Portrait Gallery and the Oakland Museum of California.

Areas of Focus


  • Communications Education
  • Technology


  • Copyrights
  • Intellectual Property
  • Branding and Trademarks
  • Entertainment Litigation
  • Technology Transactions and Licensing
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Advertising and Promotions


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York


  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors
  • San Francisco State University, M.A.
  • Smith College, B.A.


  • American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
    • Copyright Division, Chair Copyright
    • Reform Task Force
  • American Law Institute (ALI), Adviser, Restatement of the Law, Copyright Project
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section
  • Arts and Cultural Law Committee, Vice Chair
  • Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, V.P. Board of Directors
  • ArtTable
  • Copyright Alliance
  • Cosmos Club

Insights & Events

Event | October 04, 2019 | Columbia Law School Symposium
Moving Targets: Copyrightability and the Scope of Protection

News | September 11, 2019
Janet Fries Appointed Chair of ABA’s Copyright Division

News | August 8, 2019
Janet Fries Receives ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law Award | American Bar Association

Event | August 05, 2019 | Chicago
Janet Fries to Speak at AIPLA Design Rights Boot Camp

Publication | August 6, 2019
Debunking Copyright Myths | Landslide

Event | July 8, 2019 | WAMU American University Radio
Janet Fries Speaks on WAMU’s 1A

Event | May 20, 2019 | Washington, DC
Photography and The Law

News | May 15, 2019
Janet Fries Recognized by The George Washington University Law School

News | May 11, 2019
Drinker Biddle Recognized by The Ciesla Foundation

Event | April 27, 2019 | Washington, DC
Tales from International Publishing

News | April 26, 2019
Photography by Janet Fries on Exhibit at “Frame the Lawyers 2019”

Event | April 11, 2019 | Arlington, VA
Content Licensing Tips

Event | April 23, 2018 | AIPLA’s Design Law Boot Camp
Before You File a Copyright Lawsuit

News | March 22, 2018
Janet Fries Featured in D.C. Bar Bulletin’s Member Spotlight

Event | March 6, 2018 | Georgetown University
Janet Fries Speaks at Georgetown Art Law Society

Event | February 17, 2018 | Washington, DC
Entertainment Law 101: Contracts, Intellectual Property and Beyond

Event | October 11, 2017 | ABA IP West Conference
Hollywood or Bust: Where IP and Entertainment Law Intersect

News | April 15, 2017
Janet Fries Highlights Drinker Biddle’s Go Green Efforts in Washington Lawyer MagazineWashington Lawyer

Event | February 24, 2017 | Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival
Entertainment Law 101: Intellectual Property and Beyond

Event | October 31, 2016 | George Washington University
Janet Fries Speaks on Art Law Panel at George Washington University