Attention: Law, Tech and Business Reporters
Dan Brekke 510-643-6157
Berkeley, CA–Robert Barr of Cisco Systems joins the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT), the nation’s leading law and technology program, as its executive director, a move that positions the center toward becoming the country’s premier research and policy center on legal and technology issues.
An internationally renowned intellectual property lawyer and policy specialist, Barr assumes his duties on July 1.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to work in a dynamic setting, with great faculty and students, on research and policy issues that I have dealt with for my entire professional career,” said Barr, 57, currently vice president of intellectual property and worldwide patent counsel for Cisco.
Barr’s hiring builds on the efforts of Boalt Hall Dean Christopher Edley to catalyze the talent and energy of BCLT faculty and make the center a focus point for translating research into policy. The realization of these new ambitions is part of a broader vision for the law school under Edley’s leadership.
Pamela Samuelson, a BCLT director, hails Barr’s appointment as a key development for the 10-year-old center.”“Barr will bring a global perspective on law and technology issues to Boalt, as well as a wealth of experience as a practitioner and a participant in the intellectual property policy process,” said Samuelson, a distinguished expert in the areas of copyright, software protection and cyberlaw and a 1997 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award recipient.
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s top law and technology program for the eighth consecutive year, BCLT has established itself as a national think tank on the legal implications for new technologies.
On a global level, BCLT co-organized the January 2005 international digital rights symposium in Berlin and its ninth international conference, held in Berkeley in April, focused on sypware’s regulatory challenges. Next year BCLT will co-host, with the Boalt-based Berkeley Center for Law and Business, a conference on stem cell research and patent reform. BCLT also plans to co-sponsor events with the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Trade Commission. The center is active in judicial education and its directors contribute to leading journals.
Barr, who started Cisco’s patent program in 1994, has been a partner with three major law firms: Townsend & Townsend; Brobeck, Phleger and Harrison; and Weil, Gotshal and Manges, where he specialized in patent strategy counseling for clients in the information technologies industry.
“The appointment of Robert Barr demonstrates yet again Boalt’s commitment to its leadership position in the intellectual property field,” said Weil, Gotshal partner Edward Reines.
A frequent speaker on patent reform, Barr has twice testified before the Federal Trade Commission hearings on Competition and Intellectual Property Law and Policy in the Knowledge-Based Economy. He is currently working with in-house counsel from other
major information technology companies on patent reform legislation through the Business Software Alliance.
The Daily Journal named Barr, who holds undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and political science from MIT, as one of the top 25 intellectual property attorneys in California (2003) and one of the top 10 in-house intellectual property lawyers (2004). A 1973 graduate of Boston University School of Law ( cum laude ), he has taught at Boalt Hall and Hastings College of the Law.
Additional contacts for media:
Boalt Hall Professor Pamela Samuelson: 510-642-6775
Penelope Bruce, Cisco Systems Inc. public affairs: 408-853-9188