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Ted Gerdes, principal of Gerdes Law, has dedicated his practice to helping producers and creators of entertainment and literary properties avoid the many pitfalls that would subject them to lawsuits.  Ted provides ongoing advice for clients on numerous issues that impact television programs, films, memoirs, biographies, documentaries, websites and other properties including the following:

Clearance and Vetting

Thorough clearance and vetting is crucial to the smooth production and release of nearly every entertainment or literary property.  By analyzing the risk of different types of lawsuits, Ted can assist you with obtaining all of the necessary intellectual property and personal rights that will help you avoid the Court House and obtain the necessary E&O insurance.


Ted Gerdes has a wealth of knowledge of copyright law.  His expertise includes analyzing fair use and parody, reviewing chain of title searches and documents, determining whether a work is in the public domain, comparing copyrights and termination issues.  He can also assist you with transactions involving copyrights, recording the transactions with the U.S. Copyright Office and analyzing due diligence and asset management issues that arise with copyright ownership.


Choosing an effective title for your work is crucial.  It is a balancing process between creative desires and legal reality.  You must find the title that best represents your work, but it must also be legally available.  Distributors and E&O insurance carriers require that a thorough title search be performed and an opinion prepared by a trusted attorney with experience in this area.  Ted will make sure that the most thorough search appropriate for your project is obtained.  He will review it and provide you with the necessary opinion.  He can also work with you in registering your title.


Ted handles all aspects of trademark prosecution and analysis.  Because he understands the importance of selecting an effective mark, Ted can help you choose your trademark and insure it does not infringe on other marks, file registration and use documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and handle the entire registration process.  He can also assist you with obtaining international protection under the Madrid Protocol and all post registration filings.

E&O Insurance

Ted has been representing and interacting with E&O carriers for more than 20 years.  He understands how to obtain the best possible E&O insurance coverage and provides comprehensive representation in obtaining all of the necessary clearance and preparing all of the legal opinions the insurance company requires.

Non-Fiction Works

Non-fiction works such as biographies, memoirs, documentaries and docudramas come with unique legal challenges.  Ted not only understands these challenges but also finds this type of creative expression both fascinating and intellectually stimulating.  He puts this enthusiasm and expertise to work for you, allowing you to focus on the creative process and producing the best possible project.


Ted understands the importance of keeping up with advances and changes to laws that affect internet-based entertainment and companies with web presences.  This includes clearing the website content and meta tags for intellectual property, as well as assisting website operators with choosing a domain name and running a blog in a way that will avoid lawsuits wherever possible.

Personal Rights

An important step in the clearance process is clearing personal rights to avoid lawsuits based on violation of rights of publicity and privacy, as well as defamation.  Crucial in this process is analyzing and determining what is protected by the First Amendment and what might be a violation of someone's rights.

Transformational Media

An increasingly popular genre of entertainment, transformational media gives rise to many legal concerns about personal rights and intellectual property issues.  Ted believes in the importance of this particular type of entertainment and is committed to ensuring the smooth process and success of your project.

Contact Ted Gerdes Today

Ted truly enjoys the work he does and is fully committed to helping you do everything necessary to ensure that your project can proceed smoothly, be completed on time, and avoid the risk of facing lawsuits.  To speak with Ted and discuss how he can provide exceptional preventative legal counsel for your project, contact Gerdes Law today.