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Simpson honored with Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel award

UCOP’s Marty Simpson has been working for nearly 30 years to protect the intellectual property of the University of California, one of the largest patent portfolios in the world.

That work was honored last month when Simpson was named the best in-house intellectual property lawyer of the year. He was one of 26 Bay Area corporate counsels recognized by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times at the 2011 Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel awards on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Simpson serves as managing counsel for business and land use in the Office of General Counsel of The Regents, located on the eighth floor of the Franklin building. As reported in the February issue of San Francisco Business Times, he was UC’s first Office of General Counsel attorney devoted to patent licensing and intellectual property. He now heads a team of three additional attorneys, protecting the university’s intellectual assets.

“For us, it’s not about the money,” Simpson is quoted as saying. “It’s about using patents as a tool to find a way to get our technology out and used for the public benefit.”

With a bachelor’s degree in physics and 2 years of graduate studies in space physics in his background, Simpson also served as patent attorney for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy before joining the UC Office of General Counsel in 1989. His work brings him into close contact with the fields of biotechnology, life sciences and green technology.

He is also active on the Community Emergency Response Team of the Alameda Fire Department and is a licensed ham radio operator.

According to Charles Robinson, VP and General Counsel to The Regents, Simpson beat out patent attorneys for tech giants like Apple, biotech firm Genencor and nanotech firm Nanosys for the Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel award.

Congratulations to Marty from the entire UCOP community!

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