With a vibrant academic and professional career in the music, performing arts, and law arenas, R.J. Inawat is a skilled attorney with expertise spanning many facets of the entertainment industry. In his independent legal practice, R.J. focuses on entertainment law, soft intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets), contract law, and business/entity formation.
R.J.’s mission is to provide guidance and assistance through the legal and business aspects of the entertainment industry so that artists can focus on what they do best: create art.
R.J.’s expertise manifested through his comprehensive career in various sectors of the entertainment industry, including venue management, artist booking, record label A&R, radio marketing, event production, talent management, music licensing and contract negotiation.
In recent years, R.J. has worked with Music Dealers, a music licensing platform that provides authentic music for today’s advertising, television, film, and gaming industries, as the in-house legal expert on intellectual property. At Music Dealers, R.J. helped independent artists and global brands alike navigate the complexities of music licensing, and he shared his expertise in several speaking engagements and publications.
Additionally, R.J. has lent his expertise to The Bradford Exchange, where he negotiated and maintained soft intellectual property licensing arrangements between artists, worldwide companies and brands for the company’s direct-to-consumer service. Specifically, he negotiated and drafted intellectual property license agreements for the company to utilize proprietary assets on consumer products which were sold directly to customers, in some cases from global brands that had previously refused to share their intellectual property. As such, R.J. leveraged his legal acumen to bring consumers and brands together in ways the company had not previously achieved.
R.J. is a DePaul University alumnus, having earned his Bachelor of Music in Performing Arts Management with minors in Management and Business Administration in 2005 as well as his Juris Doctor in 2013, and he continues to perform throughout the Chicagoland area as a freelance classical pianist.
Seminars and Presentations
- “Music as Cultural Heritage.” Presentation with DePaul’s Art and Cultural Heritage Law Society (October 2014)
- The 6th Annual John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law Symposium: “Art Meets Law: The Intersection of Art and Intellectual Property Law” (October 2014)
- Lake FX Summit + Expo: “Follow The Data: A Global Look at the Modern Music Industry” (April 2015)
- DePaul Entertaiment and Sports Society: “Copyrights & Campaigns: A conversation on the right to use popular music on the campaign trail” (October 2015)
- SAE Institute Chicago: “I Am About That Life” – Music Business Panel and Workshop (April 2016)
Music as Cultural Heritage: Analysis of the Means Preventing the Exploitation of Intangible Cultural Heritage, The John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law (14 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. (2015))
- Illinois Supreme Court
- United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- The Lion Forge, LLC (lionforge.com)
- Of Counsel: 2018-Present
- The Bradford Exchange (bradfordexchange.com)
- Licensing Manager: 2017-2018
- Music Dealers (musicdealers.com)
- Corporate Counsel: 2015-2016
- The Neo-Futurists (neofuturists.org)
- Board Member: 2014-Present
- Vice President: 2016-Present
- Video Game Art Gallery (videogameartgallery.com)
- Board Member: 2015-Present
- Creative Cypher (creativecypher.org)
- Advisory Board Member: 2018-Present
- Board Member: 2016-2017
- Lawyers for the Creative Arts (law-arts.org)
- Associate Board Member: 2014-Present
- Volunteer Attorney: 2014-Present
- Chicago Bar Association (chicagobar.org)
- Member, Creative Arts Committee: 2012-Present
- Member, Media/Entertainment Committee: 2012-Present
- Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (falachicago.org)
- Member: 2014-Present
- Board Member: 2016-2017