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One of the top in-house attorneys in Silicon Valley is leaving his job to do intellectual property consulting at a company founded by Microsoft Corp.’s ex-technology chief. Peter Detkin spent eight years at Intel Corp., rising to assistant general counsel and running one-third of the software giant’s legal department. Detkin, whose last day at Intel was Sept. 6, will continue to work with the company through the end of the month. He’s also started his new job at Intellectual Ventures, a Seattle-based company co-founded in 2000 by Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung, respectively the former chief technology officer and chief software architect at Microsoft. Detkin said he met Myhrvold when he presented a proposal to work with Intel. “I decided what they were doing sounded interesting, and I convinced them they needed my skills,” Detkin said. “I recently had a sabbatical, and I decided it was time for a change.” Detkin said he could not yet say what kind of work he would be doing at Intellectual Ventures, only that it was related to IP. “I know what I plan to do, not too many people are doing,” he said. Intellectual Ventures’ Web site says the company is focused on projects relating to platform technologies, intellectual property, biotechnology and computer science. In the May issue of Technology Review Myhrvold said he was working on a project dubbed the Invention Factory that would bring together inventors to develop significant innovations and ways to boost their impact on the market. Detkin joined Intel in 1994 from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He had been with Wilson since 1987, where he became a partner in 1992. He was initially head of Intel’s litigation group and after two years was promoted to vice president. At Intel, Detkin had 75 to 80 people reporting to him and arguably had one of the highest-profile legal jobs in the Valley. He dealt with the company’s voluminous patent work, antitrust and other litigation, and until recently, licensing. “As I was cleaning out my desk I came across things I said when I was coming in,” he recalled. “Intel is on the cutting edge of technology issues and therefore on the cutting edge of legal issues.” Detkin said that soon after he joined Intel the company was hit with 23 class actions after its processors were found to have a problem dividing out to the tenth decimal. As a traditional IP attorney, Detkin said he had never dealt with a class action. But then he was suddenly traveling around the country fighting temporary restraining orders against Intel in different courtrooms. “We got them all dismissed,” Detkin said. “That was quite an experience.” In addition to overseeing run-of-the-mill patent cases — which he said are worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Intel — he’s played a role in developing policy on such issues as privacy and peer-to-peer distribution of material. He testified before Congress on the need for tort reform and was on his way to the White House to meet President Bush last September when the terrorists struck. “Intel is in the middle of the debate or leading the debate on issues that require IP analysis,” Detkin said.

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