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Things every client should understand about intellectual property agreements

Requests for Proposal (RFP’s) or Requests for Offer (RFO’s).

The essence of the Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Offer (RFO) document depends, as the name implies, on which of two kinds of engagements the client has in mind.

The RFO. The essence of the Offeree’s RFO is usually this: it is a formal communication whereby one party (the Offeree) solicits formal offers from a plurality of other parties (the Offerors), the latter of whom will usually be competing in head-to-head competition to obtain the Offeree’s final acceptance of their respective offers. The Offeree’s key tactical objective is to carefully identify the terms and conditions necessary to an attractive offer, but to avoid unnecessary restrictions as these not only limit the field of potential Offerors but, in addition, unduly lengthen the simultaneous rounds of parallel-track negotiation that may be undertaken with the finalists in the selection process.

The RFO Response. The essence of the Offeror’s RFO Response is usually this: it is a formal communication whereby one party (the Offeror) tenders a formal offer to another party (the Offeree), the former usually in head-to-head competition with other Offerors, so that the key tactical objective is the provisioning of a formal Offer that matches, as closely as possible, the requested terms and conditions specified by the Offeree consistent with the Offeror’s strategic objectives and long-term intellectual property strategy.

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