Heidi Keefe of Cooley has leveraged the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision and patent office procedures to invalidate more than 20 patents asserted against clients, including Facebook, WhatsApp, HTC, ServiceNow, SpaceX and King.com, over the past two years.
The No. 1 issue that keeps me and my clients up at night is …
Making sure that we can break the case down to a place where the jury understands the technology well enough to make our case for us.
What piece of advice do you have for young lawyers in tech?
Be fearless. Try new ideas as readily as you try new technology, and have as much fun doing it as you possibly can.
After the events that have rocked Silicon Valley this year, are you more or less hopeful about the prospects for women in the tech industry?
I live with hope. To do otherwise would not serve anyone well. In general, I favor talking about issues, because you cannot create or implement solutions when you do not even acknowledge the problem exists. My most fervent hope though is that we get to a place where the question is laughed at by the next generation since people are judged just by their work and their attitudes, not by anything else.
Do lawyers bear any special responsibility in addressing gender stereotyping and discrimination in tech?
Every human bears the same responsibility of being aware and not sitting idly by while problems persist. Lawyers can play a special role in the cases they take and their ability to advocate. However, I truly think all issues of discrimination start at home and in school. Children are not born thinking they “can’t” do something. We teach that. The goal is to teach empowerment for all, not diminishment for any.
Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?
It is going to sound like I am a suck-up, but I swear I am not. Joe Conroy, our CEO, is a great leader. He exudes passion for the firm and its people which is infectious. He also truly listens (a dying art). His leadership comes most, though, from example. He lives and breathes the firm, and makes you want to do the same to make it a better place not only day to day, but for the next generation of lawyers.
If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …
A sommelier or an actress on Broadway.
If I could change one thing about working in tech, it would be …