Negotiation: When What You Hold Can Make the Other Guy Fold
A couple of years ago I had one of my greatest thrills as an attorney.
My client owns several patents covering ways to improve the efficiency of certain types of lasers. We had succeeded in licensing a large company for one field of use. We were trying to sign up another company for a second field of use.
All business and legal issues had been resolved when, at the last minute, the licensee’s General Counsel demanded that my client convey, in addition to the patent license, certain broadly-defined rights to my client’s know-how. We refused, explaining that know-how never was part of the discussion, and if my client ever was interested in conveying know-how, it would come at a price. The parties then reached final agreement without the know-how provision.