I am Phil Marcus, and I am the founder and principal of Your I.P. Attorney and The Negotiation Pro.
How did I go from a kid with a chemistry set, then building his own ham radio, to be an engineer, attorney at law, and negotiation professional? It's an arc that begins by building on some essential lessons that are rooted in the training I received at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I earned a bachelor's and then a master's degree in electrical engineering.
MIT trains its grads to seek the truth persistently, to ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers, and to be creative. "Can't that be done another, better way?" (That creativity makes MIT grads very entrepreneurial--see MIT alumni companies generate billions for regional economies.)
that strong foundation, I went on
to teach engineering and physics at colleges in
Then it was 1970, a time of great social ferment. One of the characteristics of the time was that lawyers were using the courts to help people, protecting constitutional rights, and securing equal treatment for the disadvantaged. It was a profession in which one could do good, and I believed I had a talent for the law. I entered the University of Maryland School of Law, and received my J.D. in 1973.
My "first" legal career of some fifteen years included prosecuting employment discrimination cases, as well as handling the various problems of small business. Whatever the case, this work involved negotiating countless agreements.
But by early in the 1980's, times had changed, and the law no longer fulfilled me. At the same time, the new fangled personal computer had arrived on the scene, and it excited the engineering part of me. I wanted to do something with it, so I bought one and learned to use it.
Luckily, a client I had represented called one day who knew I had an engineering degree: "I need you to run the engineering department of a computer manufacturing company," he said, waving money and a golden parachute at me. The timing was right, and I was already excited by computers, so I said, "Yes!"
Over the next few years I worked with that company and others, eventually starting my own independent consulting company in 1989. Training To Gosm began focused on software training. When I told a client, "You would be better off if I write the application than if I teach you to do it," TTG Servicessm became a spin off that did software development.
Eventually, TTG Services in turn spun off a business- growth consultancy. I had realized that I was able to see things in my clients' businesses that could be improved outside the area of software. Still, although business owners needed the growth consulting, they were reluctant to invest in it. But they did want help with negotiation.
And so I started the Negotiation Prosm and Your Small Business Lawyersm to assist with the range of opportunities and disputes that businesses encounter. One of the things that can be negotiated best by someone other than the owner is licenses, especially patent licenses. This was a natural spin off for me as patents have a scientific or engineering basis. And I reactivated my law license to do business deals and intellectual property law.
So there's your full circle, back to the basic principles of my MIT education, still being put into practice, now for the inventors at the leading edge of today's technology.
I am also the author of Zen and the Art of Negotiation: Successful Negotiation for People who Hate to Negotiate
Not all my time is wrapped up in negotiation, intellectual property law and other legal matters for small businesses. I also have given my time, skills and experience to the community, serving the boards of six organizations. These include serving on the board of directors and its finance committee for a property owners’ corporation of about 135,000 members with an annual budget of more than $60,000,000. I also held the position of Board president for two homeowner associations, two professional organizations, and a start-up community federal credit union.
Besides my business world, there have always been other important facets to my life. I have two children; my daughter is a restaurant employee and my son is a college professor and author. My wife and I share our home with a cat who allows us to be her host. We recently moved from Central Maryland to the Portland OR area to take advantage of more temperate climate, less "social hypertension" and much softer water.