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Title Clearance & Legal Opinion

by | Aug 5, 2020

Attached Documents

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2021-CompuMark-Rate-Guide-US.pdf

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2021-Coresearch-Pricing__Discovery-Search-Pricing.pdf

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2023-Producers-International-Title-Search-Request-Form.docx 2023 Producers International Title Search Request Form.docx

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Please be advised that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed legal advice but is intended solely for informational and guidance purposes. Production companies should retain their own legal counsel for any legal production matters.  Contact your Production Management team if you have any questions.

DO NOT MOVE OR DELETE

US Title Clearance

Title Clearance Report

  • Submit title for clearance within 24 hours of being notified of the network-approved title.
  • Discovery will only accept reports performed by Thomson CompuMark or CT Corsearch (more information on the Producer’s Portal)

 

Legal Opinion of Title Clearance Report

  • The Legal Opinion is an opinion given by a qualified outside (i.e., not in-house) U.S. trademark attorney regarding the availability of the Program title for Discovery’s use in connection with all of Discovery’s rights in the Program under this Agreement.   Please see Producer’s Portal for recommendation of legal providers.
  • Provide attorney with copies of our Title Clearance Guidelines to ensure that the Legal Opinion fully covers all rights granted to Discovery under your  Agreement.  A list of covered rights must be included in the Legal Opinion and must be detailed in the Report (e.g., television, home video, DVD, CD-Rom, computer games, publishing, and merchandise).

 

Please be advised that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed legal advice, but is intended solely for informational and guidance purposes. Production companies should retain their own legal counsel for any legal production matters. 

Contact your Production Management team if you have any questions.

 

Title Clearance Process

Producers are responsible for clearing program titles and all other program elements in which DCL has rights under the production Agreement (e.g., use of a title or a character’s name in connection with merchandise). You must have Discovery approval of your title prior to activating the title search.

    1. Work with your network production team to choose a title.  Once the network finalizes a title, your EP and/or PMD team will notify you via email to begin the title clearance process. 
    2. Immediately contact a U.S. trademark attorney to obtain your title clearance report & opinion. (See details below and in Preferred Vendor subsection.)
    3. As soon as you receive both documents, upload the forms to the applicable categories (Title Clearance Report, Legal Opinion of Title & Trademark Report) on the Producer’s Portal.
    4. Once Discovery Legal has reviewed and accepted the legal opinion, PMD will notify producer to proceed with securing title coverage under the E&O policy.  Producer must send both documents to the insurance broker for coverage under the E&O policy.
    5. Upload the revised E&O certificate as soon as it is received.

 

For your convenience, producers have the option to user their own U.S. trademark attorney or select from the recommendation of legal providers listed below to obtain a Report and Legal Opinion. Discovery bears no responsibility for the quality of their work and does not guarantee their work product. Contact the providers to discuss pricing before placing your order.   Note: If the title clearance report or legal opinion is deemed insufficient, producer is responsible for covering costs of subsequent report and/or legal opinion.

 

1. Title Search Report

The Title Search Report consists of a valid title and full trademark research report (the “Report”). NOTE: Discovery will not accept any report other than those performed by the below mentioned companies. We recommend allowing your counsel to order the Report to ensure the Report covers the appropriate Discovery rights. Instruct counsel to reference Discovery when the order is placed to receive the proper discount. 

CompuMark
22 Thomson Place
Boston, MA 02210
Telephone: 1-800-692-8833
http://compumark.com
E-mail: compumark.us@clarivate.com

Order an “Entertainment Search (EAS)” with CompuMark for $962 with a 3-day turnaround to get the US Full Search and the US Title Search.   If you order only the US Title Search by mistake, then you will also need to order the US Full Search to equal the EAS and this will cost extra.   CompuMark is a research company only and does not provide legal opinions.  Discounted rates for an Entertainment Search (EAS) are as follows:

Standard 3 day   $962
Next Day             $1372
Same Day           $1902

 

Corsearch
220 West 44nd St., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: 1-800-732-7241
www.corsearch.com
Email:  Corsearch.USCustomerService@corsearch.com

Producers should order the US Entertainment/Media Availability Search.   The Comprehensive Search Report is not sufficient for Discovery’s requirements.  

3 Day                    $960
2 Day                    $1410
1 Day                    $1935
Same Day             $2265

 

2. Legal Opinion

The Legal Opinion must be given by qualified outside (i.e., not in-house) US legal counsel and attest that the title is available for all uses granted to Discovery under the production agreement. Inform counsel of all such rights and give them a copy of these guidelines to ensure that the Legal Opinion is sufficient. For clarity, you are not to file any trademark applications for the Program title or other mark that is likely to be confused with the Program title.  

RECOMMENDATION OF LEGAL PROVIDERS:

Gerdes & Associates
8950 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 382
Beverly Hills, CA  90211
Contacts:  Ted Gerdes and Katherina Guigliano
Email (please email both contacts):  ted@gerdeslaw.com and kat@gerdeslaw.com
Phone:  310-385-9501 

GERDES LAW 2021 rates:

EAS reports:
3 Business Days: $962
Next Business Day: $1371.50
Same Business Day (Only if Gerdes Law can get the request to CompuMark by 2 pm Eastern/ 11 am Pacific): $1901.25

Legal opinion letters:
3 Business Days: $850
Next Business Day: $1050
Same Business Day: $1250

Example: a 3-day EAS report + 3-day legal opinion letter would take a total of 6 business days at a total cost of $1812.

  

DLA Piper US LLP
500 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Telephone: 202-799-4000
Fax: 202-799-5000
E-mail:  thomas.zutic@dlapiper.com
http://www.dlapiper.com/

Please see rate card attached above (note that rates are for both the Title Search Report and Legal Opinion).

 

Suggested Legal Opinion language for Commissions and Co-Productions:

  1. For all rights generally granted under Commission Agreements (i.e., all media), of special importance are television, home videos, DVDs, CD-ROMs, computer games, publishing and merchandise:
    “Based on the Title Search Report dated January 1, 2010 for the program title The Moon Is Made of Cheese, it appears that the title is available for all rights granted under the Commission Agreement between you and Discovery.”
  2. For all rights granted under the Co-Production Agreement, which may include Standard and Non-Standard Television, Home Video, Publishing and Merchandise:
    “Based on the Title Search Report dated January 1, 2010 for the program title The Moon Is Made of Cheese, it appears that the title is available for use in connection with all rights granted to Discovery under the Co-Production Agreement between you and Discovery.”

 

International Title Clearance

Please be advised that nothing contained in this section shall be deemed legal advice but is intended solely for informational and guidance purposes. Production companies should retain their own legal counsel for any legal production matters.  Contact your Production Management team if you have any questions.

DNI Title Clearance and Legal Opinion Process

Producer is responsible for clearing program titles and all other program elements in which DNI and/or its parent company or subsidiaries (collectively “the Company”) has rights under the production agreement (e.g., use of a title, use of talent’s name in connection with merchandise, etc.).

    1. Work with your network production team to choose a title.  Once the network finalizes a title, your EP and/or PMD team will notify you via email to begin the title clearance process.
    2. Please complete the above form, selecting the search you required for your production- See Main options below and also detailed on the form.
    3. Discovery do not recommend that producers order their own search reports and then supply those reports to counsel for an opinion because the producers may not get the benefit of the Discovery rate or the Discovery-specific packages.
    4. Please send the completed form to DLA (Thomas Zutic) or Gerdes Law (Ted Gerdes) to obtain your report & opinion at the Discovery discounted vendor rate. (See details below). The Company bears no responsibility for the quality of vendor’s work and does not guarantee their work product.
    5. As soon as you receive both documents, please upload to the applicable categories (Title Clearance Report, Legal Opinion of Title & Trademark Report) on the Producer’s Portal.
    6. Once DNI Legal has reviewed and accepted the legal opinion, PMD will notify producer to proceed with securing title coverage under the E&O policy.
    7. If the clearance report or opinion letter is deemed deficient in any manner, Producer is responsible for covering the costs of subsequent reports and/or opinion letters.
    8. Producer must send both documents to the insurance broker for coverage under the E&O policy.
    9. Upload the revised E&O certificate as soon as it is received.

Main Clearance options:

  • Asia Pacific only – Sufficient for Asia Pacific
  • Latin America only – Sufficient for Latin America
  • Europe- Sufficient for West led, CEEMEA led or DNI without U.S.
  • A United States + Europe search is sufficient for DNI, including U.S. (i.e., rest of world)
  • United States + Other Territory – Select if program will air in another region/country and the U.S.
  • Other – Sufficient for single local territory only i.e. Germany

If you are unclear what regions you need to be clearing for, please contact either your Discovery PMD team for clarification or ask DLA or Gerdes.

DLA Piper US LLP
500 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Telephone: 202-799-4000
Fax: 202-799-5000
E-mail: ann.ford@dlapiper.com
http://www.dlapiper.com/

 

Gerdes & Associates
8950 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 382
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Contact: Ted Gerdes and Katherina Guigliano
Telephone: 310-385-9501
Fax: 310-858-6703
Email (please email both contacts):  ted@gerdeslaw.com and kat@gerdeslaw.com
www.gerdeslaw.com

For clarity, the title and all intellectual property rights arising from the same are the property of the Company.  Therefore, you are not permitted to file any trademark applications or register any domain names for the program title or for other marks