William S. Strong


Contact Information


  • B.A. 1973 Harvard College, magna cum laude
  • J.D. 1977 Harvard Law School

Attorney Profile

William Strong advises clients on copyright and trademark issues and on other publishing law matters such as defamation and false advertising. His practice includes copyright and trademark registration, licensing and other transactional matters; dispute negotiation, and where necessary litigation, to enforce or defend against infringement and other claims.

Mr. Strong represents a wide range of companies – from very large to very small – and individuals involved in publishing: publishers, authors, trade associations, curriculum developers, and agents. He advises the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on various legislative and other matters such as the provision of accessible formats to print-disabled students. (For the AAP, Mr. Strong recently helped negotiate, and largely drafted, a new Wisconsin statute regarding provision of accessible textbook formats.) He also represents the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers on issues regarding the enforcement of their copyrights in the United States.

Mr. Strong served as an adjunct professor of Copyright Law at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire from 1987 to 1996.

Finally, having begun his professional life as an estate planner, Mr. Strong continues to assist numerous clients on such matters, working in tandem with our Estate Planning department. He also serves as a trustee on many client trusts.

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Representative Cases

  • For the AAP, helped negotiate, and largely drafted, new statutes for California and Wisconsin regarding provision of accessible textbook formats.
  • Handled intellectual property due diligence in merger of private equity-owned client with publicly held curriculum company.
  • Frequently defends one of the world’s largest publishing companies when claims of copyright infringement are brought against it.
  • Has handled the acquisition of several multi-million dollar educational products and companies.
  • Obtained summary judgment against defendants in suit brought on behalf of several major journal publishers against persons engaged in subscription fraud.
  • Advised documentary filmmaker needing emergency advice on fair use issues.
  • Drafted radically simplified book publishing agreement for a major scholarly publisher.
  • Represents authors in negotiation of book publishing agreements.

Speaking Engagements

  • Symposium on Libraries in Museums, Peabody Essex Museum, September 2012: panelist on legal issues


  • The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide, MIT Press, (6th ed. 2013).
  • Database Protection After Feist v. Rural Telephone Co., 42 J. Copyright Soc’y USA 39 (1994).
  • The Chicago Manual of Style: “Copyright” chapter
  • Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing: “Legal Issues” chapter
  • Intellectual Property Practice, 2d ed. (Boston, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2011): revision of “Copyright Law” chapter

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section. Mr. Strong has served as both a Division chair and as a member of the Section’s governing Council.
  • Copyright Society of the U.S.A.  Mr. Strong has served in the past as a Trustee of the Society and is again serving a term as Trustee.  He has also served as chair and treasurer of the New England Chapter of the Society.
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Awards & Honors

  • Chosen as Super Lawyer® by New England Super Lawyers Magazine (2004-present)

Community Leadership

  • Overseer, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
  • Trustee, The Boston Athenaeum (1987-2004)
  • Member of the Cambridge Arts Council Advisory Board (1993-1999)
  • Trustee, Charlotte Palmer Phillips Foundation
  • Trustee and Treasurer, The Navigator Foundation

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