Bart Eppenauer rejoined Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP after serving as Microsoft’s chief patent counsel for over a decade. In that role, Mr Eppenauer led the patent group in the legal and corporate affairs department, where he developed Microsoft’s patent portfolio of more than 35,000 issued patents worldwide and managed a team of more than 100 patent professionals offering patent counselling and product development support across all of Microsoft’s business and research divisions. Under Mr Eppenauer’s guidance, Microsoft’s high-quality patent portfolio resulted in an extremely successful IP licensing programme and received top rankings in IEEE Spectrum, BusinessWeek and The Patent Board.
Before his role as chief patent counsel, Mr Eppenauer was lead patent counsel for the digital media division at Microsoft and provided extensive patent counselling, analysis, licensing and litigation support for Microsoft’s digital media offerings, including counselling and design-around guidance on numerous third-party patent assertions. Additionally, Mr Eppenauer spearheaded Microsoft’s patent submissions and participation in patent pools formed on the MPEG-4 Visual, H.264/AVC, and VC-1 standards.
Mr Eppenauer’s practice at Shook focuses on strategic IP counselling and analysis, pre-litigation and litigation strategy, complex multilateral IP transactions and licence agreements and IP policy advocacy. Mr Eppenauer has extensive experience in IP transactions and scenarios, including:
- product development agreements;
- patent licensing, sales and acquisitions;
- open source software licensing, usage and contributions;
- industry standards usage, participation and contributions;
- strategic alliances; and
- due diligence involving IP asset evaluation.
He works closely with government and judicial officials, academics and industry leaders worldwide on IP policy issues, including ongoing judicial and legislative patent reform efforts.
Mr Eppenauer is a frequent author and speaker on a range of IP issues, with particular expertise in patent subject matter eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. He has been published on the IAM blog and had authored the most-read articles of both 2014 and 2015. He has also been published and quoted in Inside Counsel, Morning Consult, Law360, PatentlyO, Managing Intellectual Property and IP Watchdog.
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