Ethics in Intellectual Property Negotiations: Issues and Illustrations

20 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2012

See all articles by Lisa A. Dolak

Lisa A. Dolak

Syracuse University - College of Law

Date Written: January 17, 2012


Negotiating – formally or informally – is a characteristic aspect of law practice. The requisite skills are acquired “on the job” and, for some, via the formal study of negotiation processes and attributes. The negotiator has much to consider, including the client’s goals and interests, likely litigation outcomes should negotiations fail or any ultimate agreement be breached, and what the counterparty is likely seeking to accomplish.

The challenges include negotiating within the limits imposed by the ethics rules. This paper identifies key authorities relevant to negotiation ethics and illustrates their operation in the context of hypotheticals based on intellectual property practice. In particular, it highlights some hotly debated aspects and implications of the professional conduct rules relating to representing clients in negotiations.

Keywords: patent, intellectual property, negotiation, ethics

JEL Classification: K20, O34

Suggested Citation

Dolak, Lisa A., Ethics in Intellectual Property Negotiations: Issues and Illustrations (January 17, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Lisa A. Dolak (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - College of Law ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
United States

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