Lee graduated from Stanford Law School and also has a graduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Simon had been at Intel since 1997, joining as a senior counsel. Before that, he was an IP partner at Loeb & Loeb for two years. He joined Spensley Horn Jubas & Lubitz in Los Angeles in 1982 after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center. Simon declined to comment and officials at Intel did not respond to requests for comment.
Although neither Lee nor Simon would disclose their career plans, recruiters and patent experts suggest they'll have plenty of options because in-house patent expertise is at a premium.
"These are people who are mature in their careers, and they've done what they're going to do at their companies," said Steve John, an in-house recruiter at Major, Lindsey & Africa. "If they're going to do anything else, now is the time to do it. Anything is possible today because the waters are churning."
Companies are increasingly focused on patent issues, whether they're trying to find ways to monetize their patent portfolios or dealing with costly patent litigation. Meanwhile, law firms are trying to recruit patent attorneys as well.
"People are looking for IP specialists who can go beyond legal and understand the business impact that IP has," said Mallun Yen, an executive vice president at patent aggregator RPX Corp., who has worked with Lee on patent issues over the years. "And I think Michelle is one of those individuals who can bridge between IP as a legal issue and as it relates to business, and that puts her in particularly high demand."