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Robert Barr, Cisco Systems Inc.’s longtime chief patent counsel, has left the company to become executive director of Boalt Hall School of Law’s Center for Law & Technology. Barr, who moved into the position on July 1, will manage the center’s program, teach and oversee fundraising efforts. “It’s time for my next act,” he says. “I’m real excited.” Barr served as Cisco’s patent counsel for 11 years, originally as outside counsel and then as an in-house attorney beginning in 2000. When he began representing the company in 1994, Cisco owned all of one patent, says Barr. The Internet-systems company is now filing 1,000 patent applications each year. “I made patents part of the [Cisco] culture,” he says. “There was not much more I could do.” Prior to joining Cisco, Barr spent four years as a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and four years previous to that at the now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. He began his legal 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 in San Francisco as an adjunct professor but dropped that work when he joined Cisco. Boalt Hall’s Center for Law & Technology has never had a full-time executive director. Peter Menell, a Boalt Hall professor, has headed up the center on a part-time basis. Barr “is an extremely well-rounded IP thinker,” says Edward Reines, a partner at Weil Gotshal. “His addition at the center will add to an already star-filled group.” Brenda Sandburg a senior writer at The Recorder, where she covers developments in intellectual property law.

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