SAN FRANCISCO Carol Smith, a founding partner of a San Rafael intellectual property boutique and a former in-house lawyer at Intel, died of pancreatic cancer on Friday. She was 60.
Friends and colleagues remember Smith as a "free" woman who laughed easily, loved wine and kept a baby grand piano in her office. She also had a head for business, they say, and was a strong advocate in litigation and sensitive to her clients' business concerns.
Law partner Anne Hiaring Hocking, with whom Smith founded Hiaring & Smith, said in an email Monday that Smith "made it happen" when the two hung out their shingle in 2009.
Prior to opening Hiaring & Smith in Marin County, Smith was in house at Dolby Laboratories Inc., Infoseek Corp., Intel Corp. and served as general counsel of startup Listen.com. Partner Vijay Toke, who manages Hiaring & Smith, said Smith brought a lot of that knowledge to bear in her private practice and could be counted on to know what was important to in-house counsel.
While at Intel, Smith was senior counsel for the global trademark department and managed the legal issues surrounding the multibillion-dollar "Intel Inside" branding campaign that helped to make the computer maker a household name in the 1990s. Immediately prior to founding Hiaring & Smith, she was senior director of IP licensing at Dolby. She brought both Dolby and Intel with her as clients to her firm.
At the time of her death, Smith was also president of the Women's Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. An alumna of UC-Hastings law school and San Francisco State University, Smith had a home in San Francisco as well as a vineyard property near Geyserville.
Colleague J. Scott Evans, senior legal director at Yahoo Inc., who met Smith when she interviewed him for a job at Intel, said Smith was a problem-solver who had a "real sense of business solutions." But Smith was also "full of life," he said, and a great storyteller. Smith had recently become single, Evans said, and her tales of re-entering the dating scene later in life would have people "rolling in the aisles."
Smith is survived by her two daughters. A memorial mass will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Brendan's Catholic Church in San Francisco. A reception will follow at Smith's home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.