Intellectual Property Law

New Matter 2018 SUMMER Volume 43, Number 2

The Licensing Corner

John Pavolotsky

Intel Corporation


As a licensing lawyer (more on this later), drafting is always on my mind. Of course, drafting is writing, and writing is hard. Writing well (and compactly) is even harder. There is no shortage of books on writing. The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing (Garner) is a good resource. Made to Stick—Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Heath & Heath), while not a book on writing per se, is equally useful. The Borzoi Handbook for Writers (Crews & Schor) stares at me, as it has for years, from a shelf in my home office. While I refuse to engage in vigorous debates on the virtues (and shortcomings) of "shall" and "will," writing (including my own) that is less than crystal clear grates. At times, I ponder if there is room for yet another book on business or legal writing. On one level, writing is one of the most fundamental of human skills. There are only so many ways to show how to do it well, just as there are only so many recipes for macaroni and cheese. Likewise, I wonder if I, as a practicing, transactional attorney, having worked through no shortage of well-written and not-so-well written agreements, am just as well positioned to opine on this age-old topic.

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