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IP Lawyer Joins New Practice after Nearly Two Decades with Microsoft
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How to keep young as old age rears its white-crowned head? In-house Patent Attorney Bart Eppenauer, who has worked for Microsoft for 17 years, is staying young by staying flexible. He has left to join Shook, Hardy & Bacon, and will be the sole attorney in their Seattle office, until a couple more attorneys join him.

“It was a great run” said Eppenhauer to CorpCounsel.com, “but at this stage in my life I want to try something different and new.” It only took him 17-years to figure that out? Most of us figure that out after 2 or 3 years. Apparently, though part of an older generation that valued job loyalty, Eppenhauer has finally realized that we stay fresh is by continually challenging ourselves.

  
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Not that Microsoft failed to do that. The attorney calls IP “the currency of innovation,” and continually increased his power and diverse experience with his nearly two decades serving one client, Microsoft.

The move will have him using the same powers as before, but with a diverse range of clients, instead of the one.

“This time the call for patent reform is about trying to curb litigation abuse, and we really do have to ensure that litigants don’t take unfair advantage of the system,” he said, speaking of the sense of importance he derives from his work. “But we have to be careful the changes work for everyone who has a stake in the patent system. That’s the real challenge.”

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And so with the move, Eppenauer will be doing more of the same, but with some new challenges. As he said, “I’ll be doing much of what I did before, only this time I’ll be doing it for more than one client.” Let’s hope he finds the transition invigorating and interesting, and let us aspire to the same in our own careers.





 

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