Business Advice for Entertainment, IP, Internet and New Media Professionals
The advice of attorneys who focus their skill and attention on protecting your proprietary and creative entertainment and technology business interests can help you navigate the treacherous waters of entering into business transactions involving protectable intellectual property.
At the Los Angeles entertainment attorney office of Brian J. Murphy, Attorney at Law, we offer more than 25 years of experience working with clients worldwide. Why does experience matter when looking for a law firm to protect your intellectual property in the entertainment, Internet and new media universe? Perhaps unlike any other industries in the world, entertainment, media and technology professionals and businesses in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the globe are under constant pressure to create new content and even better apps to deliver content to consumers in new and more engaging ways. Southern California is considered the entertainment capital of the world and Silicon Valley the technology capital of the world. New people move to the Los Angeles and San Francisco bay area every day, hoping to fulfill their dreams of becoming a star or breaking onto the scene with a new 'killer app' technology. Unfortunately, only the best and most persistent survive. The rest are always looking for ways to beat the system, including the theft of others' ideas, inventions and personal styles, if necessary. We have the necessary expertise to structure, negotiate, and draft contracts and agreements that will seek to protect your protectable intellectual property interests.
Top worldwide news organizations-such as Fox News and CNN-have consulted our attorneys for their unique perspective on breaking news affecting the entertainment and media industries.
It's Your Career. It's Your Financial Future.
While individuals are looking for every advantage to be discovered, businesses are fighting to get a technological advantage to obtain and secure their respective positions in the marketplace. That often means stealing ideas, software, designs and key employees who have the inside knowledge they are looking for: the knowledge and ideas that will put them in front of industry insiders, investors and executives who can make a difference. The entertainment, media and technology industries in Southern California, Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the globe are all about the ability to evolve and quickly adapt business strategies, tactics and practices to stay one step ahead of competitors who will look to take away your advantage — illegally, if necessary.
And that is why it is so important to hire a law firm that understands that continuously evolving environment, the technology, and the national and state intellectual property laws that affect entertainment, technology and media professionals and businesses.
Media And Entertainment Professionals Know Us
We help domestic and international businesses with the creation, distribution and maintenance of their IP assets. We also help motion picture studios and production companies, creative talent, investors, independent contractors, and Internet and new media entrepreneurs identify the full value of their work while protecting their ability to realize it, both in its original form and in emerging platforms and applications. Contact us in Los Angeles to learn how our experience and insight into both the creative and technological aspects of new or repurposed IP assets can help you succeed.
The Experience You Need. The Knowledge You Trust.
Our entertainment lawyers structure, negotiate, and draft contracts and agreements in all facets of the entertainment industry in our representation of:
- Actors and Actresses
- Other Creative Artists and Models
- Talent Business Advisers
- Film, Television, Internet and New Media Production Companies
- Film, Television, Internet and New Media Finance Companies
- Film, Television, Internet and New Media Distribution Companies
- Lenders, Borrowers and Public and Private Entertainment Industry Investors
We advise clients on projects and transactions in Southern California and throughout the United States, Canada, the Pacific Rim, Europe, India and Asia. Our counsel is comprehensive, covering the protection and registration of innovative and creative ideas and IP assets, the formation and structuring of new business entities and joint ventures involving technology and intellectual property assets, the components of the financing structure, and the negotiation of the contract and license terms you'll depend on to protect your interests.
We also advise domestic and foreign clients about government support for projects, such as motion picture and film production subsidies and incentives, wherever grants, tax credits or co-production opportunities happen to be available. At each stage of our engagement, we'll help you identify risk, find solutions to legal or practical problems, and avoid the mistakes that could derail the project or your career.
Leading Entertainment Lawyer
Entertainment requires a broad range of highly specialized experience, focused on combining knowledge of intellectual property, investment partnerships, contracts and product distribution. When working with our clients, we frequently tie together aspects of employment law, financial services, advertising ethics, insurance, corporate structuring and even U.S. immigration. To be most effective, we must have experience not only with U.S. corporate and IP law, but also deal with international regulations and laws regarding distribution rights and taxes.
Our attorneys also structure, negotiate and document entertainment product and content acquisitions and sales, as well as copyright and trademark licensing in all existing and emerging distribution channels and platforms worldwide, including Internet and wireless, telecom and strategic integration across different distribution channels and platforms.
Comprehensive Service for Technology and IP-Driven Businesses
Our attorneys serve our clients from the inception of their creative ideas and innovative concepts and technologies through and across the full range of business and legal needs in the U.S. and all international markets.
The Services We Provide
Our services can include any one or combination of the following, depending on specific needs:
- Business entity advice and formation: We provide experienced legal counsel for business owners and corporate counsel seeking assistance with business formations, contracts, litigation risk management and intellectual property matters relative to the entertainment, , media and technology industries and Internet commerce. We also work with equity groups needing assistance with managing relations between investment partners.
- Contracts: Comprehensive, concise contracts that unambiguously protect our clients' rights in all areas of the entertainment, media and technology industries, including movies, television production, advertising, and radio, e-commerce and Internet broadcasting, and software applications and computer programs.
- IP protection, registration, acquisitions, sales and licensing: We work with our clients to structure intellectual property protections for businesses, entrepreneurs and industry professionals. We focus on identifying brand integration opportunities to take advantage of those opportunities across distribution channels and media platforms available around the world. Our practice includes legal counsel in the areas of Internet, wireless, telecom and cable networks.
- Domestic and International joint ventures: Including investor relations and shareholder agreements relative to co-financings and co-productions.
- Development and production financing for motion pictures, television, Internet and new media content: Including domestic and foreign content and IP distribution. We have extensive experience across the complex legal areas of domestic and international television production, syndication, licensing and distribution.
- Internet and new media creative content rights exploitation: Including wireless devices and telecom in the U.S. and all international markets.
- Video and interactive games: In the growing field of video games for PCs and smartphone applications, it is critical to protect specific software and graphic designs and distribution. Our services include sophisticated legal counsel in areas of processes, product placement, distribution agreements, marketing, advertising and merchandising.
- Product placement and brand integration: New media is constantly changing in the world of advertising and marketing. We focus a large part of our practice on assisting our clients in the areas of sourcing, structuring, negotiating, and managing product placement and brand integration agreements. Our clients include many of the nation's largest corporations looking for opportunities for product placement in movies and television productions. We also represent production businesses needing legal counsel and representation in contractual matters with corporate entities, media celebrities and professional athletes.
- Sports law: Including pro athlete contract negotiations, product endorsements and the emergence of hybrid endorsement-investment agreements available to professional athletes and celebrities.
- Publishing: Including print, comic book, gothic novel, graphic novel or Internet publications.
IP Purchase, Sales, Licensing and Distribution Transactions
We structure and negotiate a wide range of agreements with IP dimensions: licensing, franchising, technology transfer, corporate or partnership formation and acquisitions, and domestic and international joint ventures. We represent clients in mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of companies with valuable intellectual property rights, including technology-based companies in the computer software and electronics industries; consumer products companies; apparel companies; and retailers and publishers.
We specialize in representing licensors and licensees in international and domestic intellectual property transactions involving software, patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret licenses.
Internet, Domain Name and Computer Law
Our attorneys structure, draft and negotiate Internet website design/development and hosting agreements, software development and licensing agreements, assignments/transfers and a wide range of computer-related agreements. We also assist clients with domain name searches and registrations with the goal of acquiring defensible or transferable domain name rights that themselves can accumulate valuable equity for your business.
Important Factors To Be Aware of When Protecting Your Intellectual Property Rights
Ownership rights: Businesses, entrepreneurs and independent professionals in the entertainment, media or technology industries often make the mistake of thinking they own a website or graphic design they paid a professional to design and develop. This is not necessarily the case. In order to ensure copyright or trademark ownership, it is important that you have a signed contract, clearly specifying ownership rights. The agreement should be drafted by an experienced attorney, stating specifically that the relationship between yourself (or your business entity) and the designer was strictly a 'work-for-hire' and that you control of all ownership rights. The contract should take into account all subcontractors used during the design and production process and must be signed by all parties.
Intellectual property infringement: Startups and budding entrepreneurs often try to take advantage of an established company's market presence by emulating a prominent label, design or service mark. If brought to litigation, the courts will view the case through the lens of 'likelihood of confusion' and will generally protect the intellectual property rights of the established business — if they determine the startup design seeks to 'piggy-back' on the goodwill established by the corporate entity. If you are considering entering the entertainment, media or technology marketplace, it is important to retain a qualified attorney to research and provide advice regarding possible infringement of a registered trademark, copyright or patent.
Copyrights: Generally, certain copyright protections apply from the moment of original creation of a manuscript or design. This does not mean that your work will be protected to the fullest extent provided by law without an official copyright or trademark registration. We will explain how intellectual property laws work and explain your options to fully protect yourself under the law.
We maintain access to a global network of attorneys, business contacts and consultants to provide a valuable bridge between diverse business interests and cultures worldwide.
Intellectual property clients appreciate our ability to steer them through the maze of laws governing patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, false advertising, unfair competition, counterfeiting, gray marketing and other issues. Our attorneys also assist with the protection and enforcement of IP rights in patents, trademarks and copyrights in the U.S. and around the world.
Contact Us Online or Call 310-473-3500 to Schedule an Appointment
Whether you are just starting your first project or business, you're an industry veteran, or you're considering expanding into new domestic and international markets, an experienced lawyer can expand and support your opportunities in California and around the world. To learn more about the range of our services, contact our office in Los Angeles.
Written by the Office of Brian J. Murphy