This edition of the podcast focuses on intellectual property (IP) law as Marc interviews his long-time friend and colleague, Michele Katz. Michele is the founder of the intellectual property law firm Advitam IP. She has provided client counselling, in-depth strategic analysis, licensing, prosecution and litigation in all areas of intellectual property law for almost 20 years. Michelle is also an advocate of education and has created an online program that mentors law students and new lawyers all over the world in all aspects of professional development and goal attainment.

Michele also works in the community to raise awareness of adopted children. She is an inspiring and well-rounded individual in both her professional and personal life, and her experiences make for a fascinating conversation on the details of negotiating in the field of intellectual property law.

More information about Michele can be found here:

Key takeaways are:

  1. The importance of listening to the other party’s position and translating it into what are their actual interests are. They are often not in alignment.
  2. People are constantly negotiating in all aspects of life
  3. Good negotiation requires a genuine interested in collaboration between parties
  4. When dealing with aggressive and unpleasant opponents, always remain professional (particularly in emails as these can sometimes find their way into court documents).
  5. Budgetary considerations are an important element of strategy.
  6. Two important non-economic factors of IP? Rebranding time and phase out terms.
  7. Biggest mistakes lawyers make when negotiating?…
  8. Talking too much and not listening
  9. Negotiate with and not against.
  10. Not understanding your client’s business.

Episode timestamps:

[2:10]: A summary of Advitam IP.

[3:00]: How did Michele learn to negotiate?

[5:20]: What kind of negotiating style does Michele have?

[6:20]: How to deal with competitive lawyers who are not interested in collaboration?

[7:40]: Why it isn’t in either party’s best interest to let a case go all the way.

[8:20]: Do rude and aggressive opponents affect Michele on a personal level?

[10:00]: A typical IP case? Michelle walks us through an example copyright case.

[12:35]: Manage expectations – educate the client.

[13:45]: When clients have unrealistic expectations?

[14:45]: Difficult cases in this area? Michele says patent law can be particularly tricky

[15:20]: A particularly difficult case – when family members start businesses which potentially infringe trade secrets.

[18:30]: Typical non-economic terms of IP cases.

[21:00]: Three biggest mistakes lawyers make when negotiating?

[23:00]: Listening! Use pauses to get information on a negotiation.

[25:00]: Leave your ego at the door – prioritise your clients interest.

[26:30]: International vs American negotiation styles? Why you must understand the legal culture of different countries when working with foreign partners.

[30:44] Dealing with impasse? Take the lawyers out it!

[31:40]: Businesspeople vs lawyers?

[34:20]: How do you assess the value of the case?

[36:44]: Million-dollar IP case?

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