Innovative Mediator, Problem Solver, and Advisor
As an internationally respected intellectual property lawyer for more than 20 years, Mike Heilbronner helped clients balance their financial and other interests with commercial and legal realities.
Mike launched Negotiate With in 2018 to focus exclusively on solutions — as opposed to advocacy — in business and legal conflicts. Mike facilitates resolution by helping parties identify the causes and true costs of conflict (financial and otherwise) and explore solutions beyond win-lose, zero-sum outcomes.
Mike helps parties unlock deadlock and get back to business by empowering them to communicate effectively, understand the causes and negative impacts of conflict, and craft custom, win-win solutions
Mike began his legal career with the Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton law firm, and later joined the firm’s client adidas as in-house counsel. While at adidas, Mike designed and implemented the company’s first comprehensive strategy for protecting its iconic Three-Stripe trademark in North America. Mike negotiated and mediated favorable resolutions with some of the largest brands and retailers in the world, including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Steve Madden, J. Crew, and Kenneth Cole.
In 2004, Mike identified a gap in the legal marketplace that mainstream lawyers were missing: business-focused, flexible, and cost-effective IP advice and legal services. He founded IdeaLegal, a boutique law firm focused on brand development, protection, and enforcement.
With IdeaLegal, Mike built a successful business that helped more than 300 clients around the world achieve their commercial and legal goals. He worked closely with diverse companies, ranging from startups to mature businesses, including Dave’s Killer Bread, SkinnyPop, Voodoo Doughnuts, Nautilus/Bowflex, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Yogi Tea, and Humm Kombucha. In 2017, Mike sold IdeaLegal to four talented lawyers who run it today.
Mike was always a business-minded and solutions-focused lawyer, and he founded Negotiate With to tackle a more innovative and expansive role better suited to his talents and interests.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, Mike served from 2002 to 2016 as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, where he created and taught the Advanced Trademark Practice and Strategy course. Mike’s law school students valued the same qualities in Mike that his legal clients appreciated —smarts, speed, pragmatism, humor, and ability to explain complex concepts in a way even non-lawyers could understand.
Mike received his law degree from Duke University School of Law and a BA in History from the University of Michigan.
Mike’s personal passions include spending time with his family, advocating for organ donation (he is a kidney transplant recipient), traveling, and seeing live music.