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UN agency acts on behalf of 184 member nations

James Pooley ’70 has been nominated by the Obama Administration as deputy director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He will begin in November if confirmed by the WIPO.

An agency of the United Nations, the WIPO comprises 184 member countries and is headquartered in Geneva. It promotes the protection, understanding, and development of intellectual property (IP) worldwide. It operates on the principle that “respect for intellectual property ownership advances economic benefits that derive from innovation and invention.”

Author of the highly regarded treatise Trade Secrets and scores of other professional publications, Pooley is a litigation partner in the Palo Alto, Calif., office of Morrison & Foerster, one of the preeminent IP practices worldwide. He is immediate past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

One of the first lawyers to practice modern IP law in Silicon Valley, Pooley began his legal career in 1973. He built a national reputation as trial counsel in some of the most difficult and high-visibility intellectual property cases for clients such as AT&T Wireless and Hewlett Packard before state and federal courts, as well as before the International Trade Commission. His successful patent infringement defense of Adobe Systems was recognized by National Law Journal as the only IP case among its Top Defense Verdicts of 1997, and a record settlement for ESS Technology in a software copyright case led to his being honored as Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Guide to the World’s Leading Patent Law Experts, and Chambers’ America’s Leading Business Lawyers. He has extensive experience in arbitration and mediation, both as advocate and neutral.

Pooley teaches as an adjunct professor of law at the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He is a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Intellectual Property Rights and the Northern District of California committee on pattern jury instructions for patent cases. He conceived and scripted an instructional video for jurors in patent cases that was produced in 2002 by the Federal Judicial Center and is used in courts throughout the United States.

Pooley graduated Lafayette with honors in international affairs and from Columbia School of Law as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

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