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Robert Barr, Cisco Systems Inc.’s longtime chief patent counsel, is leaving to become executive director of Boalt Hall School of Law’s Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. Barr, who will assume the post July 1, said the position was an opportunity to do something different. He will be managing the center’s program, doing fundraising, teaching and working on the center’s curriculum. “It’s time for my next act,” he said. “I’m real excited.” Barr said he replied to a job posting and Boalt’s dean, Christopher Edley Jr., encouraged him to pursue the position. Barr has been Cisco’s patent counsel for the past 11 years. He first served as the company’s outside counsel and then joined the staff in 2000. Barr said that when he began representing the company in 1994, it had just one patent. Now Cisco is filing 1,000 patent applications a year. “I made patents part of the culture,” he said. “There’s not much more I can do.” Prior to joining Cisco, Barr spent four years as a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and prior to that, four years at the now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. He started his career at Townsend and Townsend and Crew after graduating from Boston University School of Law. He also spent five years teaching at Hastings College of the Law as an adjunct professor but dropped that work when he joined Cisco. The Berkeley Center for Law & Technology has never had a full-time executive director. Professor Peter Menell has headed up the center on a part-time basis. Barr said he will be working closely with Menell and the other directors of the center. “Robert Barr is an extremely well-rounded IP thinker,” said his former colleague Edward Reines, a Weil, Gotshal partner. “His addition at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology will add to an already star-filled group.” Barr declined to say who had been selected as his replacement at Cisco, and the company’s spokespersons could not be reached for comment.

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