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Spotlighting


GUTIÉRREZ Corporate Vice President and General Counsel of the Microsoft Corporation


BY PATRICK FOLLIARD


As head ofMicrosoft Corporation’s Innovation and Intellectual Property group, Horacio Gutiérrez has established a far- reaching reputation as an effective leader. Colleagues and tech-industry insiders credit him with making strides in patent ownership transparency while also helping Microsoft generate lucrative licensing revenues.


16 H DIVERSITY & THE BAR® MARCH/APRIL 2014


is handling of the com- pany’s enviable patent portfolio has made him a star in the profession. But intellectual


property was not always so sexy. Te informa- tion technology boom pushed IP, copyrights and patents (and those who manage them) to the forefront, making them an increasingly


important and vibrant part of the business world. “Te IP function used to be a back office support


function; nowadays it’s become a C Suite issue where top-level executives are paying attention in terms of licensing and the opportunities IP provides,” Gutiérrez says. “Tese days, licensing transactions make headlines. [A prime example is Microsoft’s patent cross-licensing agreement with Samsung that provides coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets.] Negotiations that don’t go well and end up in court are followed especially closely. For better or worse, litigation in the patent space has elevated the profile of these issues for the public and executive decision-makers in the business world.”


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