David W. Tollen

President & Founder

David Tollen is the founder of professional training company, Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, and a San Francisco Bay Area law firm, Sycamore Legal® P.C., both focusing on contracts addressing technology. He is also a successful author; sought after speaker, trainer, and expert witness on IP and IT issues; and has taught IT contract drafting and negotiation at UC Berkeley Law School.

Among the areas with which David has broad experience are cloud computing, big data, and software license agreements, among other technology contracts; privacy; e-commerce; IP rights in software; large-scale technology outsourcing; international transactions; and procurement contracts for financial institutions. Since graduating from Harvard Law School, his experience has also included serving as General Counsel of a publicly traded software company, Vice President of Business Development for a profitable technology start-up, and as an associate with a global law firm.

David enjoys writing about history and science for young people, and he has authored two award-winning educational novels. (You can learn more about David’s non-legal writing at his fiction websites, https://davidtollen.com and https://pintsofhistory.com. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for World History Encyclopedia, the world’s most-read encyclopedia about history.


JD, Harvard Law School, cum laude, 1993

Ll.M., Cambridge University (U.K.), Queens’ College, 1994

B.A., U.C. Berkeley, with highest distinction in general scholarship, 1990


Legal Publications:


  • Secrets of Hominea, by David W. Tollen (novel) (Winifred Press / 2019)
    • Independent Press Award – Distinguished Favorite
  • The Jericho River, by David W. Tollen (novel) (Winifred Press / 2018)
    • Winner at The Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the London Book Festival; Bronze Medalist in the Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews & Awards Contest

Illustrative Speaking Engagements

  • Tech Contracts Master Classes™: Prime Clauses: License, Subscription, IP Transfer, Payment; General Clauses: Data Management, SLAs, Confidentiality, and other General Clauses; Key Liability Terms: Indemnities, Warranties, and Limits of Liability; End-Game and Special Clauses: Disputes, Termination, Special Terms, and OSS. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC webcasts.
    • Series 1: October 5 – 26, 2021
    • Series 2: November 3 – December 1, 2021
    • Series 3: January 20 – February 10, 2022
    • Series 4: April 14 – May 5, 2022
    • Series 5: September 13 – October 4, 2022
  • Private Trainings on IT contract drafting and negotiating, Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, various fora and topics, 2005 to date.
  • The Indeminar: Indemnities in IT Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, September 22, 2022, webinar.
  • Top Mistakes in SaaS Contracts. LinkedIn Live, August 30, 2022.
  • Key Liability Terms in Tech Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, July 26, 2022, webinar.
  • Top 6 Mistakes in Cloud Computing Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, June 15, 2022, webinar.
  • Privacy Terms in Tech Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, April 19, 2022, webinar. Co-presented with Kathy O’Sullivan (CIPP/US).
  • Key Terms in Cloud and Software Contracts: Intellectual Property, Commercial Terms, and Liability. 2022 Tech Law Symposium, Association of Corporate Counsel Mountain West Chapter. April 1, 2022, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Privacy Terms in IT Contracts. LinkedIn Live, March 30, 2022. Co-presented with Kathy O’Sullivan (CIPP/US).
  • OSS in IT Contracts: Buying and Selling Under the Shadow of Copyleft and More. March 2, 2022, webcast. Co-presented with Synopsis Software Integrity Group.
  • Ten Key Data Terms in IT Contracts – An Issue-Spotter. Advanced Licensing Agreements 2022, Practicing Law Institute (PLI) conference, January 24 and 25, 2022, virtual conference.
  • Advanced IT Contracts: Drafting and Negotiating. Lecturer – Berkeley Law, spring and summer 2022 (J.D. and Ll.M. candidates).
  • Technology Contracting – Top 10 Tips and Traps for Even the Most Experienced Lawyers. Canadian Bar Association’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law Section, December 2021 virtual meeting.
  • Top 10 Worries for Vendors in IT Contracts: Getting the Terms You Need, Even From Big Customers. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, December 7, 2021 live webinar.
  • Doing Cloud Contracts Right. World Commerce & Contracting (FKA IACCM), Meet the Author Series. November 4, 2021 webinar.
  • Cloud Computing vs. Traditional IT Contracts: Getting it Right. LinkedIn Live. November 4, 2021.
  • Data Issues in Tech Contracts. LinkedIn Live, October 21, 2021.
  • Key Liability Terms in IT Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, October 20, 2021 live webinar.
  • Doing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud Contracts Right – Top Mistakes & Strategies. 2021 Intellectual Property Law Conference, State Bar of Nevada, October 15, 2021, virtual conference.
  • Typical Intellectual Property Mistakes in Software and Cloud Contracts. LinkedIn Live, September 16, 2021.
  • The Indeminar: Indemnities in IT Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, September 14, 2021, webinar.
  • Top Six Mistakes in Cloud Computing Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, July 8, 2021 live webinar.
  • IT Professional Services Contracts: Typical Terms and Mistakes in Contracts for Implementation, Customization, Cloud Migration, Programming, and More. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, June 8, 2021 live webinar
  • Tech Industry Contracts: Drafting and Negotiating Software Licenses, Cloud Computing Agreements, and Other IT Contracts. Lecturer – UC Berkeley Law School, spring 2021 (J.D. and Ll.M. candidates)
  • Payment Terms in IT Contracts: Get Paid, Don’t Overpay, and Avoid Typical Mistakes. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, May 6, 2021 live webinar
  • Key Liability Terms in Tech Contracts. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, March 31, 2021 live webinar
  • IP Terms in Tech Contracts: Licenses, Warranties, Open Source, and More. Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, February 18, 2021 live webinar
  • Big Data Licensing, Advanced Licensing Agreements 2021, Practicing Law Institute (PLI), January 25 and 26, 2021, virtual conference (MCLE available).
  • The Indeminar – Getting Indemnities Right in Tech Contracts, Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, December 3, 2020 live webinar
  • Top 6 Mistakes in Cloud Computing Contracts, Tech Contracts Academy® LLC, October 20, 2020 live webinar
  • Open Source Software 201: Myths and Realities of OSS Licenses (on-demand) and The Rise of Big Data and What It Means for Everyone and Everything (live session), Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property & Technology Institute, July 16 and 23, 2020 virtual conference (MCLE available)
  • Mitigating IT Agreement Terms, Lorman Live, June 15 and March 26, 2020 live webinar (MCLE available)
  • Tech Industry Contracts: Drafting and Negotiating Software Licenses, Cloud Computing Agreements, and Other IT Contracts, Lecturer – UC Berkeley Law School, spring 2020 (J.D. and Ll.M. candidates)
  • Big Data LicensingAdvanced Licensing Agreements 2020 Practicing Law Institute (PLI) conference, January 27 and 28, 2020, in San Francisco (MCLE available)
  • SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS: Evaluating Cloud Service Agreement Models, Negotiating Key Terms, Minimizing Contract Disputes, Strafford, March 12, 2020 webinar
  • Cloud Computing Contracts: How Banks Can Get the Best Terms, Western Bankers Association, December 3, 2019 webinar
  • Drafting Service Level Agreements: Best Practices for Corporate and Technology Counsel, Strafford panelist, October 2, 2019 webinar (MCLE available)
  • Back to the Future, Predictions for Technology and Negotiation in 2030 and Beyond, IACCM (now World Commerce and Contracting) “Ask the Expert” panelistSeptember 5, 2019 webinar
  • Cloud Computing Contracts: How Banks Can Get the Best Terms, Western Bankers Association 2019 Education Summit & Regulatory Conference, August 26, 2019
  • SaaS Go-To-Market Partnering Contracts: What Does and Doesn’t Work, Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) CA Chapter, April 17, 2019, San Francisco
  • SaaS, PaaS and IaaS: Evaluating Cloud Service Agreement Models, Negotiating Key Terms, Minimizing Contract Disputes, Strafford panelist, April 17, 2019 webinar
  • Thought Leader Discussion, Coming to the Table Program, Arizona State University Thunderbird School of Global Management, spring 2019 video podcast 
  • Tech Industry Contracts: Drafting and Negotiating Software Licenses, Cloud Computing Agreements, and Other IT Contracts, Lecturer – UC Berkeley Law School, spring 2019 (J.D. and Ll.M. candidates)
  • IT Contracts Workshop, International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) Americas Conference, October 2018
  • Uganda Tech Contracts Master Class, in cooperation with Stanbic Bank, trainer, Kampala, July 2018
  • Big Data Licensing presentation, Advanced Licensing Agreements 2018 Practicing Law Institute (PLI) conference, January 23 and 24, 2018, San Francisco.
  • Buyer and Seller Perspectives on Open Source in Tech Contracts, webinar in cooperation with Black Duck Software /available on demand, November 30, 2017
  • IT Contracts Risk Control: Reducing Tech Providers’ Liability — seminar, October 3, 2016, TechAssure Fall Conference, Seattle
  • Cloud Computing Contracts 101 — recorded seminar / available on demand, September 22, 2016, the Barrister’s Club of San Francisco
  • Cloud Computing Contracts 101: Seven Key Clauses & Seven Common Mistakes — webinar, June 7, 2016, American Bar Association
  • What You Need to Know About the Cloud Services You Use — podcast/interview, April 26, 2016, through Lawyerist.com
  • Cloud Computing & IT Contracts: Central Clauses and Common Mistakes — webinar, November 5, 2015, International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM)
  • Tech Contracts: Tackling Data Breaches, Patent Trolls, IP Gremlins, and Other Monsters — seminar, October 22, 2015, San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association
  • The Contract Drafter’s Job — guest lectures, February 2014 & 2015, Santa Clara University
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Contracts: How to Negotiate SaaS and Other Cloud Agreements — live & webinar, November 2, 2014, Continuing Education of the Bar, Oakland CA,
  • Cloud Computing Strategies & Pitfalls, — live program, October 8, 2014, The California Banker’s Association, San Diego CA
  • SaaS & Other Cloud Computing Agreements — live program, February 27, 2014, IP Section of the Barrister’s Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco, CA, September 18, 2014
  • Drafting Cloud, Software, and other Tech Contracts: Getting IP and Commercial Terms Right — live program, February 5, 2014, IP Section of the California Bar
  • Cloud Computing Agreements — webinar, January 8, 2014, Licensing Executive Society of the USA and Canada
  • Master Class on Indemnity in IT Agreements — live program, April 25, 2013, State Bar of California
  • Radio Interviews on 33.Voices, Stu Taylor on Business, and TechTransferCentral.com (on University Ready-to-sign-Licenses), 2013
  • Cloud Computing Agreements — February 21, 2013, National Business Institute (NBI)
  • IP and IT in the Cloud: The Business Lawyer’s Newish Job in the World of Cloud Computing and SaaS — live program, October 26, 2012, The 11th Annual Conference on Recent Developments in IP Law and Policy, Golden Gate University
  • Tech Agreements in an Online World: Eight Key Clauses and the Misunderstandings that Burden Them — live program, September 14, 2012, The 2012 IP and the Internet Conference, Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • A Legal Primer on Emerging Business Models in Cloud Computing — June 6, 2012, The American Conference Institute’s 2nd National Forum on Negotiating and Executing Effective Agreements for Cloud Computing
  • Drafting & Negotiating SaaS and Cloud Contracts: Mysteries De-Mystified, Myths De-Bunked, and Clouds Rolled Back — live program, April 24, 2012, San Francisco IP Law Association
  • Six Lessons for Drafting and Negotiating Better IT Agreements — October 25, 2011, Cyberspace Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California
  • Negotiating & Drafting IT Agreements — live programs, September 2011, State Bar of Ohio
  • SaaS and Cloud Computing Agreements: Key Drafting and Negotiation Issues — teleseminar, July 19, 2011, Intellectual Property Law Section of the California Bar
  • Tech Contracts: Nine Lessons for Negotiating and Drafting Better IT Agreements — teleseminar, July 12, 2011, American Bar Association
  • Technology Agreements: Negotiation & Drafting — October 2009, The California Banker’s Association

Admissions & Associations

State Bar of California

Member of the Board of Advisors, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017 – present

The International Association for Contract & Commercial Management: 2017-present

American Bar Association IP Law Section: 2010-present

San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Association (SFIPLA), Board Member: 2009-2015

Financial Institutions Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California: 2009-2011


Tech Contracts Academy: david@techcontracts.cominfo@techcontracts.com

Many of David’s publications are available for purchase at amazon.com, including The Tech Contracts HandbookThe Tech Indemnities Pocket Guide; The Jericho River; and Secrets of Hominea.