Launch your inspiration

A Portland business law firm powered by creativity



You’ve got vision and talent that need to be seen throughout the universe. Now you need a strong vessel to get you there. An inspiration spaceship to carry and protect those creative assets. Custom built for you by a boutique creative business law firm designed by and for people able to bring inspiration to life.


Business formation (LLC, corporation, or other business organization). Oregon business registrations and permits. Owners’ agreements. Initial financing. Intellectual property protection and licensing.


Work-for-hire and employment agreement drafting and review. Copyright and trademark search and protection for creative work. Promotion rights.

Creative Business Owners

Contract drafting and review. Employee and independent contractor issues. Commercial leases. Mergers, purchases, and sales of businesses.

Brand Managers

Trademark and trade dress protection and infringement. Marketing and advertising claim review for regulatory compliance.

Web Developers

Copyright, trademark, and trade dress protection and infringement. Domain name, linking, framing, and cybersquatting issues. Defamation and privacy concerns.

Advertising Agencies

False advertising, unfair competition,and intellectual property infringement claims and defenses. Disclosures and disclaimers. Sweepstakes and contests. Keywords, pop-ups, and other online ads.


Rights acquisition and option/purchase agreements. Joint authorship collaboration agreements and assignments. Nondisclosure agreements and submission releases. Writer’s services agreements.


Legal advice and counsel for creators of literary works. Copyright application and infringement. Negotiation of grants of rights, royalties, and other publishing contract provisions.


Business formation. Copyright registration and infringement. Permissions, model releases, contracts, and licensing agreements.

Visual Artists

Legal advice for painters, sculptors, makers, and other artists. Contract negotiation, drafting, and review for art sales. Copyright registration and protection. Licensing for reproduction and other art rights.

Fashion Designers

Intellectual property protection for elements of apparel, footwear, and accessories including original prints and patterns, color arrangements, trademarks, and trade dress. Legal advice related to design patents.


Contract negotiation, drafting, review, and litigation.


Formation and dissolution of business relationships among fashion models, agencies, and clients. Intellectual property rights.

Graphic Designers

Business formation (LLC, corporation, or other business organization). Design firm contract drafting and review. Employee and independent contractor/freelancer (work-for-hire) agreements. Copyright and trademark protection and licensing. Commercial leases.

Small Press Publishers

Business structures (Limited liability company, corporation, other business forms). Publishing contracts and reprint agreements. Employer and employee issues.


Producer’s services agreement negotiation, drafting, and review. Cast and crew hiring and employment contracts and legal issues. Film licensing and distribution rights acquisition agreements.


Contract review, negotiation, and drafting. Nondisclosure agreements. Copyright registrations and trademark applications. Licensing of illustration rights. Commercial leases.

Independent Filmmakers

Negotiating, drafting, and reviewing production and distribution contracts. Copyrights and chain of title clearances. Legal advice on film financing, tax credits, production incentives, and securities laws.

Design Studios

Digital and print design contract negotiation, drafting, and review. Intellectual property protection. Business organization or incorporation. Employee and freelancer/contractor issues and agreements.

Dance Companies

Business entity formation. Intellectual property protection. Publicity rights. Contracts. Licensing. Labor and employment issues.

Independent Record Labels

Business formation (LLC, corporation, other business organization). Negotiation and drafting of management and producer agreements, publishing agreements, and other music industry contracts.


Negotiation, drafting, and review of recording, music production, publishing, management, live performance, band, licensing, merchandising, and other music-related contracts.





Market effectively with legal review of campaigns and promotional materials.
Guidance you need for informed decisions on advertising legal issues.

Great advertising relies on creative concepts and brilliant execution, not unsubstantiated and misleading communications. Advertising law ensures that a message’s effectiveness is not based on false advertising claims. Under federal law, claims must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based. For some specialized products or services, additional rules may apply. State laws may also impose restrictions.

Inspiration Spaceship can provide guidance on claim substantiation and regulatory compliance for on-line and off-line marketing. Advertising attorney advice can help your

agency or business make informed decisions and balance promotion risks and rewards.

Founded by a former award-winning ad agency creative with decades of experience on campaigns for some of America’s leading brands, Inspiration Spaceship is well-suited to provide practical answers based on understanding your business—as well as understanding creative and effective brand marketing. If you provide brand communications services or need to promote a brand while avoiding consumer protection issues, call or contact the firm for an initial consultation at no cost to you.





Limited liability company and corporation startup legal advice and documentation.
Launch and navigate your creative business confidently and affordably.

Choosing the best legal structure is just one of many decisions that you will make when starting a new small business, but it may be the most important. Choosing to form an Oregon or other state LLC, partnership, or S- or C-corporation can affect multiple aspects of your business, including liability, control, ownership succession, taxes, and many others. Without thinking through all of those aspects—a process that online filing services don’t provide—your business may become something other than what you intended.

Inspiration Spaceship can help you select the best type of business organization for your goals. But that’s just the beginning. We’ll then work together to create it to your exact specifications and get it fully ready to launch and grow successfully.

Business startup packages are provided at affordable flat fees, a small early investment that can help avoid expensive costs to resolve disputes later. Packages include filing Articles of Organization or Incorporation, obtaining employer identification numbers, drafting LLC Operating Agreements or corporate Bylaws, and securing necessary permits—as well as the legal advice needed to make the business decisions behind those documents.

Since decisions made during the formation stage will affect nearly every aspect of your organization throughout its life, it makes sense to seek a business lawyer’s advice on making them wisely. Check the list of package features below and call or contact the firm for an initial consultation at no cost to you.



Comprehensive legal services packages for creative entrepreneurs and startups.
Affordable attorney advice and formation of new business organizations including limited liability companies and Oregon or Delaware corporations structured for success.

Limited Liability Company

Single-Member LLC
  • Form your company properly with all necessary steps and documents.
  • Initial business consultation
  • Register business name with Oregon Secretary of State
  • Prepare and file Articles of Organization with Oregon Secretary of State
  • Prepare custom Operating Agreement
  • Prepare and file Form SS-4 (application for employer I.D. number)
  • Register business with applicable city and/or county
  • Prepare Combined Employer’s Registration form (if applicable)
  • File renewals and update registration information for first business year

Limited Liability Company

Multi-Member LLC
  • Launch your company from a stable platform built around members' interests and expectations.
  • Initial business consultation
  • Register business name with Oregon Secretary of State
  • Prepare and file Articles of Organization with Oregon Secretary of State
  • Prepare custom Operating Agreement
  • Prepare membership interest transfer ledger
  • Prepare intellectual property licensing or assignment agreements
  • Prepare and file Form SS-4 (application for employer I.D. number)
  • Register business with applicable city and/or county
  • Prepare Combined Employer’s Registration form (if applicable)
  • File renewals and update registration information for first business year


Oregon or Delaware
  • Organize a startup with multiple founders considering seeking venture funding
  • Initial business consultation
  • Register business name with applicable Secretary of State
  • Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with applicable Secretary of State
  • Prepare custom form of Shareholder Agreement (if applicable)
  • Prepare custom Corporate Bylaws
  • Prepare and file Form 2553 (Subchapter S election and comparable state form)
  • Prepare and file Form SS-4 (application for employer I.D. number)
  • Order corporate set (minute book, seal, share certificates)
  • Prepare custom initial written consents and resolutions for organizational meeting
  • Prepare intellectual property licensing or assignment agreements
  • File renewals and update registration information for first business year


Monthly flat-fee attorney access for contracts, employment issues, and other everyday business concerns.
Accomplishing creative business goals, reducing litigation risks, and controlling legal expenses.

Filing your startup documents doesn’t mean that your creative business stops needing legal advice. It shouldn’t mean that your creative business lawyer stops being a trusted advisor. He or she should continue as the trusted counselor you turned to for help making decisions crucial to forming a business for future success.

The legal issues that arise once a business has lifted off—like negotiating and drafting contracts, reviewing commercial leases, protecting intellectual property, and dealing with employee matters—are a regular part of most operations, including those of the creative industries. A business attorney who has a relationship with your company’s people and knows its products, customers, and competitors can minimize the cost of handling such issues, generate more effective solutions, and contribute valuable strategic insight.

Unfortunately, hiring full-time, in-house lawyers or retaining corporate law firms with high hourly billing rates may be impossible for startup and developing creative businesses. That’s why Inspiration Spaceship’s monthly legal services plans allow continuous access to attorney expertise at predictable, affordable fees. As your business takes off, these plans provide both prompt access to legal answers and proactive monitoring of legal details like annual filings, regular meetings, and required records. If necessary, other projects can be handled on an hourly basis but with discounted rates and capped fees based on estimates before legal work begins.

Ready to put together a legal flight plan that works for your business? Call or contact the firm for an initial consultation at no cost to you.





New and emerging creative businesses need prompt, effective, affordable legal advice. Realistic hourly
rates, flat fees, or subscription plans for regular access to legal counsel that knows your business.

First Stage

  • Designed for creative businesses in
    their first years of growth
  • Initial legal situation review and recommendations
  • Two hours of telephone advice
  • Unlimited email communication
  • 15% hourly fee discount
    on all legal services

Second Stage

  • Designed for growing creative businesses or those preparing for an offering or exit
  • Initial legal status review and recommendations
  • Four hours of telephone advice
    or office consultation
  • Unlimited email communication
  • 20% hourly fee discount
    on all legal services
  • Quarterly legal status report to management

Third Stage

  • Designed for the established creative business without in-house legal counsel
  • Initial legal status review and recommendations
  • Eight hours of telephone advice
    or office consultation
  • Unlimited email communication
  • 25% hourly fee discount
    on all legal services
  • Monthly legal status report to management
  • Annual monitoring and preparation
    of required legal filings


Protecting and leveraging creative expression through copyright registration and
licensing. Affordable intellectual property legal advice designed for creators.

Like a brand’s unique identification, an idea’s creative expression can be a business asset with immense value. But in the hotly competitive modern media climate, unprotected ideas are highly vulnerable. Without secure legal protection, their value can easily be lost or stolen. And without careful development, those assets can prompt expensive claims by competitors that may be fatal to a brand’s products or even the brand itself. Working with an intellectual property lawyer early in the creative process can help avoid expensive copyright and trademark infringement issues that may arise later.
A creative copyright lawyer can also help intellectual property attain maximum value. Any creative expression may contain valuable rights, such as the right to reproduce, display or perform, or create new works that are based on the original. Negotiating such rights and royalty rates and drafting or reviewing copyright license agreements to cover them are just some of the ways that an intellectual property attorney can increase the economic value of such creative assets. Call or contact the firm for an initial consultation about these and other copyright issues at no cost to you.

Women filmmakers are among the greatest but their opportunities to direct major films are among the fewest. In 2014, for example, women directed less than 7% of the top 250 films. The Women Filmmakers Copyright Clearance Project is one small step past one barrier. It provides pro bono representation for clearing scripts and acquiring rights needed to deliver distribution-ready content. More films means more audience attention—and, hopefully, greater opportunity to reach even more screens. With female voices needed more than ever.





Business negotiation and legal documentation for the entertainment industry from
development and production to distribution and ancillary rights.

Everyone needs someone to look out for his or her interests. And when those interests belong to someone putting creative work into the media marketplace, the need for someone looking out is especially important. The market for creative may be larger than ever but the challenge of making a living from creative work has also increased. Interest in seeing work brought to life should not lead filmmakers, authors, musicians, and other artists to rush into deals offered by motion picture, television, music, book publishing, theater, radio, web, or video game producers eager to meet market demand—but drafted by their attorneys to protect their interests.

An entertainment lawyer can negotiate to ensure that the deal provides appropriate compensation and protection for your intellectual property. Just as importantly, he or she can “translate” contract terms to ensure that you understand them fully.

He or she can also advise on and secure necessary rights to use intellectual property and handle employment and other business law issues facing entertainment creators, as well as assist in obtaining financing.

Entertainment law combines knowledge of commercial law practices like contracts, copyrights and trademarks, and licensing with experience in the unique business realities of the entertainment industry. Founded by a former creative director with over a decade of experience in television, print, and retail advertising brand communications, Inspiration Spaceship is well suited to the practice. If you are creating a product or providing a service intended for initial release by motion picture or broadcast television distribution, musical performance, radio or live theater production, literary publication, or digital media, call or contact the firm for an initial consultation at no cost to you.





Intellectual property legal counsel that understands brand creation.
Protecting and leveraging brand identity for creative business success.

Like the form of ideas protected under copyright law, the words, symbols, or phrases of brands and companies can be critical business assets. They are a vital part of the success and growth of any business, especially in markets where design is among the few distinguishing factors. But without strong protection and management, the exclusive right to prevent competitors from selling products with confusingly similar identifiers can be lost. And without a trademark strategy, an emerging brand may learn only after investing significant time and money that a proposed trademark is unavailable or cannot qualify for registration.
Working with a trademark lawyer to protect and leverage brand identity is an important decision. As a law firm build for creative entrepreneurs, Inspiration Spaceship understands brand creation and design. The firm advises on knockout and comprehensive trademark searches, federal, state, and international registrations, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office actions, opposition proceedings, trademark enforcement, and negotiating and drafting trademark license agreements. Email or call to talk about these and other trademark issues in an initial consultation at no cost to you.


A law firm built by and for creative talent, Inspiration Spaceship concentrates on
effective legal representation that protects and supports creative endeavors.

Dane E. Johnson


(503) 975-8298
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Before founding the firm in 2015, attorney Dane Johnson worked as a litigation lawyer and prosecuted cases to successful verdicts at trial and in arbitration. He previously worked as a senior creative in advertising and brand communications design at Nike, Adidas America, and advertising agencies in Los Angeles, the Midwest, and the South. His communications design work has covered print, television, video, and retail and been recognized by the Communication Arts Advertising and Design Annuals, Print’s Regional Design Annual, and the Advertising Club of Los Angeles, among others. As a former creative director, senior art director, and designer, Dane brings a deep understanding of the talent that he represents to his creative business, intellectual property, and entertainment law practice.

Dane received his law degree in 2008 after graduating in the top 10% of his class at the University of Oregon School of Law, where he served as an Associate Editor of the Oregon Law Review.

Representative Experience

Advised communications design agency on independent contractor relationships and drafted independent contractor, non-disclosure, and intellectual property assignment agreements.

Counseled independent filmmakers on film financing and business entity formation and negotiated production/distribution agreement.

Drafted website terms and conditions of use for online publication.

Obtained federal trademark registration for designer paper products brand.

Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of Oregon


J.D. (Coif), University of Oregon School of Law

B.F.A., Honors, Advertising, Art Center College of Design


Statute of Anne-Imals: Should Copyright Protect Sentient Non-Human Creators?, 15 Animal L. Rev. 15 (2008).

Cages, Clinics, and Consequences: The Chilling Problems of Controlling Special-Interest Extremism, 86 Or. L. Rev. 249 (2007).





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