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Susan P. Altman

Fax +1.412.355.6501
Susan Altman navigates businesses through the complexities of today’s technology-enabled commercial transactions in order to help lower costs and improve revenues. Ms. Altman helps clients properly structure contracts in ways that foster long-term, positive commercial relationships, whether through subscription agreements, licensing, strategic alliances, or outsourcing transactions. For example, she recently assisted a European client in setting up US operations, including contracting with various service providers for IT, business process, and marketing services.

Ms. Altman brings to bear a substantial background as a transactional lawyer serving clients in a broad array of commercial needs. In addition to assisting clients with IT and business process outsourcing activities, Ms. Altman has negotiated commercial contracts across the breadth of global supply chain networks, from manufacturing to distribution and retail, and has supported the commercial launch of numerous cloud-based services. She has also negotiated licenses of intellectual property rights in the software, IoT, FinTech, data analytics (big data), artificial intelligence, medical device, and biotechnology industries. She addresses privacy and data protection in commercial contracts, including many transactions in the financial services and healthcare industries.

The commercial transactions and outsourcing arena demands technically sound, practical advice, informed by awareness of market conditions and best practices. To meet this need, Ms. Altman draws from the knowledge base and assistance of the commercial technology and sourcing practice group, located across five continents, as well as firm resources in areas such as intellectual property, privacy and data protection, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain, tax, employment, dispute resolution, bankruptcy, antitrust, and FDA.

Ms. Altman is a frequent lecturer on commercial and technology issues affecting companies on the edge of tomorrow.


  • Fulbright Fellowship, University of Bonn, Germany 1979-1980

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member of Pittsburgh Entrepreneur Fund Advisor Committee, Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority

Speaking Engagements

  • “Unlocking Value in Patents: Licenses, Joint Ownership & Joint Ventures” presented at Half Moon Seminars, Pittsburgh, February 26, 2019
  • “Danger: Crocodiles in Commercial Contract Drafting” presented at K&L Gates’ GC University, Pittsburgh, June 27, 2018
  • “Deal with AI: RoboBurgh Edition” presented at Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Association for Corporate Counsel, Pittsburgh, June 5, 2018
  • “Blockchain: Reimagining Commerce” presented at K&L Gates’ GC University, Pittsburgh, May 1, 2018
  • “Dealing with AI: Legal Issues” presented at Under the Wire CLE Conference, Chapel Hill, NC, February 2018
  • “Deal with AI” presented at Applied Artificial Intelligence conference, San Francisco, May 11, 2017
  • “Contracts Matter” presented at Ascender’s Starter Series; Pittsburgh, April 11, 2017
  • Panelist at “The Artificial Intelligence Gateway for the Investment and Business Community” seminar; Pittsburgh, March 16, 2017
  • “Artificial Intelligence: Technology Transactions” presented at seminar on Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Forecast and Business Outlook, Washington, D.C., February 22, 2017
  • “Contracts for Start-Up Companies: Preserving and Enhancing Value,” seminar for Smart Start, an initiative of Project Olympus at Carnegie Mellon University and the Innovation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, September 24, 2015; repeated September 22, 2016 at Carnegie Mellon University
  • “Practical Guidance for Negotiating University IP Licenses,” presented to Pittsburgh Biomedical Breakfast, May 31, 2016
  • “Vendor Contracts: Another Layer of Risk Mitigation,” CLE presentation on Cybersecurity: Minimizing Risk and Managing Consequences, December 9, 2014
  • “Contract Lifecycle Management,” presented to Western Pennsylvania Chapter, American Association of Corporate Counsel, September 30, 2014
  • “Commercial Contract Drafting--Technique and Structure,” CLE presentation, Pittsburgh, August 19, 2014
  • “Commercializing Medical Devices--Using Contracts to Your Advantage,” presented to Pittsburgh Technology Council, Medical Device 2014, Pittsburgh, August 14, 2014
  • “Managing the Risks of Importing: Contractual Considerations,” Seminar on Off-Shore Procurement and Importing into the U.S., client presentations in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, October 24 and 25, 2011
  • Development of University Partnerships for the Promotion of Innovation, a Project for Russia: “Critical Issues in Licensing,” International Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State, Pittsburgh, February 22, 2011
  • "Strategic Contractual Alliances," presented to Western Pennsylvania Chapter, American Association of Corporate Counsel, May 18, 2010

Additional Information

  • Author of Chapter Licensing, Product Development, and Commercialization “Medical Devices Law and Regulation Answer Book 2019.” Ed. Onel and Becker. New York: Practising Law Institute, 2018
  • "Are Smart Meters Ready for Us?” California Cleantech Resource Newsletter, July 2010
  • Doing Business in The United States: A Guidebook for Foreign Companies Operating in the United States, 2009
  • "Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Pennsylvania Successful Entries Into The U.S. Market," June 2007
  • "Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Pennsylvania-Successful Entries into the U.S. Market," August 2002
  • "Legal Aspects of Establishing a U.S. Base of Operations," presented at Pittsburgh Forum sponsored by Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and Wirtschafts und Beschaeftigungsfoerderung Dortmund, 1 July 2002
  • "Planning for Business Continuity: Legal Responsibilities/Liabilities of Management and Directors," presented at Computer Network Technology's Business Continuation/Disaster Avoidance Seminar, 16 May 2002
  • Advise leading diagnostics company focused on detecting and diagnosing infectious diseases in its global distribution efforts
  • Represent PRC-based critical vendor in negotiation of license agreement and manufacturing and supply agreement with technology company exiting Chapter 11 protection
  • Advise global software provider of IT administration solutions on outsourcing of sales and marketing support and distribution in Central and Latin America
  • Represent natural gas services company in negotiation of joint development agreement regarding residential fuel cell technology
  • Represent global metals manufacturer in staged exit from energy services joint venture
  • Structure commercial contracts with providers and customers of digital exchange for investment products and services
  • Advise multinational engineering company on joint development agreement regarding electric truck technology
  • Negotiate joint development agreement regarding air quality monitoring technology with 3M
  • Draft first connected technology terms and conditions of sale for American multinational conglomerate
  • Advise global consumer packaged goods manufacturer on outsourcing of its human resources recruitment operations
  • Structure commercial contracts with distributors and customers of benchmarking engine services using artificial intelligence and named one of Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Analytics 2016
  • Represent major university in licensing of autonomous driving technology to online transportation network company
  • Represent New York Proton Management LLC, a consortium of leading New York healthcare institutions, in purchase and installation of proton therapy treatment system and outsourcing of operations and maintenance of the system under 10-year contract
  • Represent InvestEdge in offering web-based solutions for managing, measuring, and reporting on high net worth and ultra high net worth trust portfolios to British multi-national banking and financial services company and also to German global banking and financial services company
  • Negotiate license from major university on behalf of software company offering decision modeling environments based on decision-theoretic methodologies
  • Represent major U.S. health system in licensing of enterprise electronic medical records software
  • Represent provider of innovative colon cancer screening test using molecular diagnostics in negotiation of a variety of manufacturing, laboratory, and cloud services agreements
  • Represent medical device manufacturers in negotiation of international distribution agreements
  • Advise various public companies on contract formation, arbitration enforceability, and battle of the forms issues
  • Represent major university in the sale and related license of adaptive learning technology
  • Represent major university medical system in the negotiation of its group purchasing organization agreement
  • Represent drug discovery and development company in the negotiation of a license for drug development and commercialization with a global provider of neurology products