Throughout my career in Silicon Valley, I have structured and negotiated numerous technology licenses (inbound and outbound), joint development agreements, distribution and customer contracts, consulting and professional services agreements and strategic partnerships. My approach is to work closely with the client to understand the specific business goals, both short-term and long-term, and to negotiate in a cooperative manner while carefully protecting the rights and interests of my client. The best outcomes occur when each party clearly understands the other party’s business model and goals, and when we work together to achieve a “win-win” for all concerned.
This said, I believe that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get.” So, no matter how small the client and how big the “other side” is, I encourage my clients to ask for and pursue what they really need – and to be prepared to walk away if their fundamental needs are not met. When the client and I both understand the “bottom line,” we are in a much stronger position to negotiate and to come up with creative ways to get the deal done. While licensing agreements often contain boilerplate legalese, there are many ways to be creative so as to structure an agreement that balances the needs and goals of both parties. I work closely with my clients to understand their most important issues, so that we focus on how to “win” on the more important issues.