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Susan P. Altman

Susan Altman navigates businesses through the complexities of today’s technology-enabled commercial transactions in order to help lower costs and improve revenues. Susan 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.

Susan 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, Susan 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, Susan 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.

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

  • Fulbright Fellowship, University of Bonn, Germany 1979-1980
  • Member of Pittsburgh Entrepreneur Fund Advisor Committee, Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority
  • “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
  • "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
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • Co-authored chapters in "Medical Devices Law and Regulation Answer Book," Practising Law Institute, 2020
  • 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
  • Featured Guest Blog: Cloud First, Faster,” Confluence Cloud in Financial Services, 26 June 2017
  • "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
Additional News & Event Pages
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