Dane E. JohnsonEntertainment Attorney for Film, Television, and Digital Media
- Entertainment & Sports Law, Intellectual Property, Trademarks
- California, Oregon
I’m a transactional entertainment attorney admitted to the bar in California and Oregon working with film and television creators to protect and tell their stories. I serve as production legal counsel for independent narrative and documentary films, negotiating and drafting option/purchase agreements, talent and below-the-line contracts with individuals and loanout companies, releases, location agreements, and license agreements. My practice also includes setting up business organizations, clearing copyrights and trademark rights in screenplays and literary fiction, and advising creative filmmakers on legal issues related to film finance, development, preproduction, production, and distribution.
I grew up in Los Angeles, and I absolutely love great movies and the movie business. I’m passionate about bringing the talents of authors, artists, directors, actors, and producers together to create compelling stories for theatrical and streaming media distribution worldwide.
DeepFocus is a boutique entertainment law firm concentrating on independent motion pictures and television. The practice is based on Portland, Oregon, a center for character animation and nearby resource for Hollywood studios, and also serves California clients.
- Entertainment & Sports Law
- Intellectual Property
- Trademark Litigation, Trademark Registration
- Google Meet
- Free Consultation
- Credit Cards Accepted
Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
I accept flat fees.
- State Bar of California
- ID Number: 331885
- Oregon State Bar
- ID Number: 083727
- U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- Entertainment Attorney for Film, Television, and Digital Media
- DeepFocus Law
- Serve as production business and legal affairs counsel for independent narrative and documentary film, television, and digital media projects. Negotiate, draft, and review/redline contracts for above- and below-the-line talent and production personnel. Advised Health Safety Supervisors on compliance with COVID-19 requirements including SAG-AFTRA and other industry guild guidance on A24 and HBO productions and completed all production legal work through domestic and international sales agent agreements for indie romantic comedy distributed across streaming platforms. Set up business organizations to finance, produce, and distribute indie film projects with budgets from $100,000 to $650,000. Negotiate and document literary property rights acquisitions for books and graphic novels through option/purchase agreements. Evaluate and clear copyright and trademark legal issues and draft attorney opinions to support E&O coverage. Advise independent producers and directors on pitching projects.
- University of Oregon School of Law
- J.D. (2008) | Law
- Honors: Order of the Coif
- Art Center College of Design
- B.A. (1988) | Advertising
- Honors: Honors
- Order of the Coif
- Order of the Coif
- The Order of the Coif is a national honor society for law school graduates who attended member schools. Each year it extends invitations to the top 10% of graduating J.D. students by grade point average.
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property Section
- Legal Issues in Publishing, Write to Publish conference, Portland, OR
- Ooligan Press
- A one-day event dedicated to publishing in all its forms bringing together current industry professionals and publishing students to exchange knowledge and spark moments of innovation.
- DeepFocus Law
- Motion Picture and Television Law Blog
- Filmmakers + Friends
March 20, 2023
- Four ways to find the money to make movies.
February 1, 2023
- Anatomy of an Independent Film Business Plan
January 13, 2023
- Q. hi, I would like to know how can I open a trademark if I am not a resident of the USA country?
- A: A business or individual whose permanent home is outside the United States can apply for and own a trademark registered here. The applicant must appoint and be represented before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in any US state. Contact a US trademark lawyer. He or she will search for possible conflicting trademarks that have already been filed and could prevent or delay your registration. The attorney will then prepare your trademark application and handle correspondence with the USPTO.
- Q. When filling out a trademark form should I put my name or the companys name as the owner of the mark as a sole proprietr
- A: A sole proprietorship is not a business organization separate from its owner. This means that there is no legal “person” involved except the proprietor, so there is nobody else who could own property in their own name. A small business owner might register a “doing business as” name, but that’s not the same as setting up a legal entity distinct from the owner. Unlike organizing a limited liability company or incorporating, registering a DBA would not create an entity able to own property like a trademark. Protecting trademarks and other intellectual property is an important component of planning for a successful business. So is deciding whether the benefits of setting up a separate company (such as liability protection, the ability to attract capital, and the ability to sell or continue a business after the owner is no longer involved) are worth the expense. Consider meeting with a business lawyer licensed in your state who can review your personal situation and advise you about the best options.
- Q. I have a specific question about copyright and trademark registration for a game studio.More details below.
- A: If you are outside the US, you must have an attorney who is eligible to practice in the US Patent and Trademark Office represent you in filing a trademark application. Outside the US, you can file a trademark application with the trademark office of each country in which you are seeking protection. You might instead be able to register in one country and extend that protection to others through the Madrid Protocol. A trademark application should include a detailed search of registration databases. This would look for existing marks that may be confusing and could prevent registration of a new mark. It is always a good idea to have an experienced trademark lawyer advise you on search results. A ballpark estimate would be somewhere between $600 and $900. Trademark protection can potentially last forever as long as the registered mark is properly maintained by filings showing proof of continued use.
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