Stiefler Law Group PC - Attorneys at Law
Stiefler Law Group PC - Attorneys at Law: Providing Intellectual Property, Internet, Technology, Multimedia and Entertainment Legal Services since 1983
What clients say about Ellen:

"I have never had this feeling about an attorney before as I have about Ellen - where I wanted to so proactively involve her and solicit her involvement and where I can't wait to hand all our work over to her.

Ellen showed up with so much more than we expected - she blew the scale away!

By our third meeting, we said: Ellen has to be doing everything for us and taking the lead.

Ellen gives top quality legal and business knowledge, and has a depth of contacts, background and experience.

She really cares about us - and it was not about the billable hours. She was willing to support us in ways far beyond our expectations, and she did it in such a non-attorney way.

Right from the beginning, Ellen was humble, caring, warm-hearted, and sincere, going against the stereotypical image of most attorneys."

-Paul DeKleermaeker -
Shared Vision Network
"I love working with Ellen. She is one of the nicest, brightest and most interesting people I have ever met, and she has unquestionably been the perfect agent/attorney for me. I'm the kind of person who believes that if I am open, listen carefully and remain prepared, the perfect opportunities will come my way. When I was in desperate need of finding the perfect person to help me navigate my professional life, Ellen stepped in and guided me through the process with ease and grace. She helped me reel in a great book deal, and during the negotiations she remained steady and calm throughout the process. Even when the waters got wild, Ellen's temperament remained even keel. For her continued efforts on my behalf, I will always be grateful, and I can't begin to say how perfect it is that she also brings her expertise in Intellectual Property rights to the table. If you are looking for an agent who is effective, well connected and always pleasant to interact with, Ellen is an optimal choice. Above all else, she has integrity and is the kind of human being I want to do to business with."
      Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, NY Times Bestselling Author, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, and one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008.

Jill Bolte Taylor
NY Times Bestselling Author, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, and one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World

“Ellen has broad knowledge of the

“I had the opportunity of working with Ellen this year on a contract for a screenplay adaptation. What I enjoyed about working with Ellen was that in addition to her expertise, she was fair to both parties and worked with us to create a win-win situation. I have already recommended her to another client and will continue to do so. Ellen is a highly ethical and personable attorney.”

Corey Blake,
Screenwriter, Owner,
Writers of the Round Table Inc.,
Writing Services Company

“Ellen has broad knowledge of the publishing industry and has provided Accendo Publishing with valuable publishing contract services reflective of her high-integrity, expertise, and thoroughness. It is a pleasure to work with Ellen.”

Tammy Lee McClure,
Director of Marketing, Solaria; President, Accendo Publishing


Areas of Expertise

Ellen  Stiefler's Areas of Expertise:

Ellen Stiefler takes an interdisciplinary approach specializing in intellectual property, Internet, technology, multimedia and entertainment, business and related fields. To maximize clients’ rights and help them achieve greatest success, Ellen provides advice and counsel on business formation, copyrights, publishing, multimedia, e-commercetrademarks, trade secrets, entertainment, identity theft and licensing, cyberlaw of the Internet, blogs, digital and software matters as appropriate.

Business Formation

Whether it's forming a new business, or analyzing strategies for growing to the next level, Ellen's primary mission is to help her clients become more successful. Ellen regularly forms business entities such as partnerships, limited liability companies, and S and C corporations. She handles commercial transactions, strategic alliances, and makes sure her clients are well-protected in the development, acquisition and use of intellectual properties.


Ellen offers sound advice to her clients on a wide variety of copyright issues, including protecting, licensing and transferring copyrights in all fields including books, photographs, films, musical compositions and sound recordings, graphic arts, fine art, architecture, computer software, publishing, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and works displayed on the Internet.

Stiefler Law Group regularly:

  • prepares copyright registrations
  • negotiates and drafts complex copyright development, transfer and licensing agreements
  • advises and counsels clients on ensuring copyright ownership in the development of new works and the subsequent protection of those works
  • guides clients on the use of copyrighted works owned by others and obtains clearances
  • reviews the use of copyrighted works in advertising
  • prepares consulting agreements and confidentiality agreements relating to the creation or dissemination of copyrighted works
  • develops enforcement strategies
  • sends and responds to cease and desist notices
  • resolves "work made for hire" issues
  • counsels on fair use principles in the context of new media and Internet technologies
  • gives advice concerning photocopying and scanning
  • counsels clients on whether a particular work may be in the public domain
  • addresses emerging issues raised by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


Ellenrepresents authors, publishers, and others in the publishing industry. Ellen regularly counsels, negotiates and handles:

  • Protecting rights of authors in their works and ideas
  • Licensing Agreements
  • Permissions and Releases
  • Work for Hire and Copyright Assignments
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Publishing Agreements
  • Agency Agreements
  • Collaborators and Joint Authors’ Agreements
  • Copyright Registrations and Assignments
  • Options and Life Rights Agreements
  • Right of Privacy matters
  • Defamation (slander and libel) issues
  • Character Protection and Merchandising
  • Audio Book Deals
  • Electronic Rights Management (online e-books, databases, print-on-demand, etc)
  • Secondary Rights Management (movies, TV, etc.)


Ellen Stiefler began her intellectual property law practice in 1983 and has been on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, including Multimedia and transmedia, ever since. Technology is facilitating the convergence of computing, communications, entertainment and consumer electronics.

Multimedia refers to a collection of related technologies which are usually interactive, often networked, and which permit applications which contain some combination of audio, video, text and graphics images.  Transmedia refers to the opportunity to transform content into many forms to reach people through all available media. In transmedia, the content often transforms as it is adapted to new media. Ellen has special expertise in facilitating the widest desired distribution of her clients' content into many media.

Ellen provides business and legal counsel covering the:

  • Acquisition of the rights necessary to create multimedia products
  • Licensing of third parties to create and distribute the multimedia product
  • Licensing of Multimedia content (software, songs, video, photos, art, data, movies, etc.)


E-Commerce represents a large part of Ellen's multi-media practice, reflecting the burgeoning growth in online activities in general.  Ellen is well-versed in the legal and practical considerations for companies venturing forth on the Internet and helps her clients capitalize on the digital revolution and converging technologies. She regularly handles:

  • Setting up E-Businesses
  • Website Development and Operation Agreements
  • Online Content Provider issues
  • Domain Names and Trademark issues
  • Domain Name Transfer and Ownership Agreements
  • Privacy issues
  • Digital Content, Publishing and Electronic Rights
  • Digital Security and compliance under Privacy and Security State and Federal Laws
  • Online software licensing
  • Internet Payment Systems
  • Securing Online Content
  • Electronic contracting issues
  • Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)
  • Federal E-Sign Act Compliance
  • Electronic signature issues
  • Information Licensing and Transactions
  • Advertising and Marketing issues
  • Proprietary protection of multimedia products
  • Software Development and Licensing Agreements
  • Internet Distribution Agreements and other E-commerce transactions
  • Webcast and Ancillary Rights Agreements
  • Interactive Online Entertainment

Personal Management

For select artistic talent, Ellen serves as personal manager as well as agent and attorney, advising them in every area of their career and professional development

In serving as personal manager, in addition to providing agency and legal services, Ellen regularly:

  • protects and promotes the talent's right of publicity
  • serve as artist's personal representative
  • Provides guidance to enhance and further artist's career
  • contract negotiation

Trademarks and Brand Management

Ellen offers a full range of trademark and brand management services including advising and counseling emerging and established businesses on branding strategies, securing and enforcing registrations for clients’ marks, providing guidance on how to maximize the goodwill of their marks and develop practical strategies for the selection, use, registration, protection, enforcement, licensing and transfers of marks as well as trade names and Internet domain names.

In handling trademark portfolios, Ellen regularly:

  • Conducts trademark searches
  • Provides opinions on trademark availability
  • Counsels clients on resolving trademark conflicts
  • Handles Merchandise and other Trademark Usage Licensing
  • Advises clients on trademark issues in mergers and acquisitions, and
  • Files new trademark applications based on actual use and intent to use and coordinates foreign filings
  • Handles international filings under the MADRID Protocol.

Being well-versed in Internet and Technology issues, Ellen also regularly handles matters relating to Trademarks and the Internet, including:

  • Domain name issues and disputes
  • Jurisdictional issues and infringement via deep links or framing
  • Cybersquatting and cybersmearing,
  • Other e-commerce branding strategies.

Trade Secrets

Trade secret protection can function as a less expensive yet very effective way to protect intellectual property. Ellen often defines and implements comprehensive trade secret strategies for her clients to help them protect their inventions, processes, methodology, information, formulae, client lists, ideas and other trade secrets.

Ellen regularly:

  • Conducts trade secret audits and designs protection programs to avoid trade secret misappropriation
  • Drafts confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements to protect employers, independent contractors, joint venturers, suppliers, purchasers, business partners, contractors and potential buyers and sellers of proprietary technology
  • Prepares e-mail and Internet use policies, covenants not to compete, no-solicitation agreements, and no-raid agreements
  • Provides intellectual property and employment law advice when a former employee leaves with a company’s trade secrets and/or copyrighted materials
  • Represents parties whose trade secrets have been misappropriated or who are accused of misappropriating trade secrets of others


Ellen offers a full range of legal and business services in the entertainment fields of book publishing, television, film, theater and music.

Ellen regularly negotiates and handles:

  • Digital Rights Management
  • Music and the Internet
  • Brand Integration
  • Infomercial Deals
  • Maximizing Value of Assets for Media Ventures
  • Performer Agreements
  • Life Rights Option Agreements
  • Director's Agreements
  • Producer's Agreements
  • Acquisition Agreements
  • Co-Production Agreements
  • Talent Agreements
  • Dramatization Rights Agreements
  • Collaboration Agreements
  • Publishing agreements
  • Releases of all kinds
  • Subsidiary Rights Agreements
  • Foreign Rights Agreements
  • Agency Agreements
  • Scenic Designing Contracts
  • Costume Designing Contracts
  • Lighting Design Contracts
  • Writer's Agreement for Television or Motion Pictures
  • Literary Option and Acquisition agreements
  • Distribution Agreements
  • Negative Pickup Agreements
  • Songwriter's and Composer's Agreements
  • Loanout Agreements
  • Property Clearance Opinions
  • Property Shopping Agreements


Ellen helps her clients merchandise and license their valuable intellectual properties.  She helps clients create and implement merchandising programs from start to finish by identifying and protecting licensable elements of a property and identifying potential licensees. Ellen also drafts and negotiates license agreements and creates and administers anti-piracy policing programs.

Ellen regularly negotiates and handles:

  • Licensing of all form of intellectual properties
  • International Licensing
  • Cross-licensing
  • Joint development and marketing deals
  • Distribution agreements
  • Manufacturing Agreements
  • Licenses with payments over time or options to purchase.

Identity Theft

Ellen Stiefler has appeared on numerous television shows, conferences, and in books as an expert on Identity Theft. You can purchase Ellen's books and tapes at

CyberLaw - Internet, Online, Blogs and Digital

Ellen offers a full range of legal and business services in the CyberLaw, Internet Law arena.

Ellen regularly negotiates and handles matters concerning:

  • Online Community and Membership Site Setup
  • Online Advertising and Content Management
  • Digital Downloading
  • Podcasting
  • P2P File Sharing
  • Broadband
  • Gaming and Virtual Worlds
  • Television and Video deals
  • Takedown Procedures
  • Spam and Which Unsolicited Emails are Legal
  • Privacy/Security Online and Handling Private Data on Blogs
  • Online Marketing
  • Seach Engines
  • Domain Names and Trademarks
  • Content Regulation
  • Adware/Spyware
  • Use of Images, Inline Linking, Deep Linking, Thumbnails
  • How to Handle Use-Developed Content
  • Duty to Monitor Blog Comments and Liability
  • Journalism Shield Laws and Blogs


Ellen offers negotiates and handles transactions relating to software development and use such as:

  • Software Development Deals
  • Licensing
  • software protection through copyrights and trade secret law




What people are saying:

quoteI've been lucky to know Ellen Stiefler as a friend for more than 18 years. Ellen is one of the few lawyers I know who combines a great heart with a great mind. Her ability to develop strong personal relationships with clients is unique in her profession. It's the basis for the strong bond of trust that exists with each of the clients she represents"

Leslie S. Biller, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, Retired, Wells Fargo & Company, Director, PG&E Corp., Knowledge Schools, Inc. and Ecolab, Inc.

quoteEllen has sincerity, caring and a passion for us to succeed. Ellen is a team player; she's in it for everyone to win. It's not just's from her heart...and it's much more than money can buy. She goes beyond the call of duty. She plays full-out and gives full out! Ellen is an outstanding attorney - very knowledgeable and wise. Beyond her extensive legal background, she brings something you can't buy which is intuitive wisdom. We feel honored and excited to have Ellen in our life. She exceeded our expectations. She is more than an attorney; Ellen's a wise sage. If we need another attorney on our team, the first person I would check with would be Ellen. Ellen would be my top-level legal advisor. If she couldn't handle our needs herself, she would find the best in the business for us."

Ken Foster, Best-selling author of Ask and You Will Succeed; CEO, Shared Vision Network.
quoteIn the sea of lawyers, Ellen has a rare quality I haven't seen in other lawyers. She has human understanding that far exceeds just knowing legal issues.

Ellen always employs diplomacy in whatever she does. Ellen is very human and, at the same time, she knows her stuff, and she is a professional, kick-ass lawyer who knows how to get things done.

Ellen's overall knowledge and her ability to problem solve transcend all of the stereotypical legal barriers and restrictions that most lawyers have in terms of their protocol.

I truly believe what I tell her… 'You’re an angel' and I mean that both literally and figuratively. I feel very fortunate that our paths have crossed and she is in my corner"

- Rudy Rojas, CEO -
Native Threads, Inc.

See Ellen's chapter entitled Bullet-Proof Your Intellectual Properties in a recently-published book, Walking With the Wise - Entrepreneur.

quoteEllen took a situation I believed had little chance of resolution and truly turned a lemon into lemonade. Her research and conflict resolution skills converted a situation that appeared incapable of producing lunch money into a solution that brought fair economic resolution to years of dedicated employment."

-- Michael Basch, co-founder of Federal Express and CEO of Ya-Ya! Bike

quoteEllen is responsive, efficient and has a thorough knowledge of the law. She instantly spotted "soft spots" in my original contract that saved me thousands of dollars (not to mention a headache or two). I'm grateful for the referral that pointed me to this powerhouse of a woman.

-- Maria Dowd, Author, Sisterfriend Soul Journeys, Journey to Empowerment,

quoteEllen Stiefler knocks several degrees off the seven degrees of separation between people. Ellen knows everyone and she has an uncanny ability to create value by connecting people who should be doing business together and don’t even know it until she brings them together.  You would be hard pressed to find a more competent attorney. I unhesitatingly recommend Ellen's professional services."

- David D. Hadden -
President and CEO, TheraSim

quoteEllen brings her intelligence, legal expertise and heart into it. She seems soft, but she is smart as a tack. She is both kind and tough…which is an amazing combination and one that you want to have on your side."

- Ellen Reid -
Award-winning Book Shepherd and CEO of and Little Moose Press.

quoteEllen has what no other attorney I've ever known has - she is able to see her clients' needs from the business aspect as well as the legal side. Ellen's advice turned into a powerful competitive advantage for us that helped us reach our next level of business success. I can't imagine expanding our business without her on our team."

- Norma Owen -,
CEO, Avadon Alliance

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You are the person to visit this site since 5/1/05