Jessie Kennedy IP LL.M. ’10 Corporate Counsel
Approving branding and marketing strategies for Starbucks Corporation
FAVORITE STARBUCKS DRINK: SOY MISTO
Starbucks offers more than 4,000 drinks, when you consider every possible customization. Jessie Kennedy learned this fact the hard way. As a rite of passage, Jessie worked as a barista for a day when she joined Starbucks as corporate counsel.
Jessie admits that before joining the Starbucks team she didn’t know much about coffee, other than that it helped to keep her awake when studying for exams. Now she is studying to be a “Coffee Master” to learn all of the ins and outs of buying, roasting, blending, and tasting coffee.
Jessie does more than drink coffee at the Starbucks’ headquarters in Seattle. She is part of the Global Brand Protection team where she reviews the advertising, marketing, packaging, merchandising, and corporate communications for the Starbucks brands. Not a small task for a company with one of the most recognizable brands in the world!
Prior to joining Starbucks, Jessie made stops at two other local industry giants- Amazon and Microsoft. She conducted a year-long internship at Amazon while earning her Intellectual Property LL.M. degree at UW, and then was hired to join the advertising and promotions law team at Microsoft. She credits both of these experiences as helping to prepare her for her current job at Starbucks.
Jessie also credits her professors at UW Law, particularly Bob Gomulkiewicz and Signe Naeve, for providing practical instruction and career advice after she moved to Seattle from the east coast. Jessie received the Outstanding Student Award from the IP LL.M. program in 2010.Close
Linda Norman ’85 Deputy General Counsel
Litigating intellectual property and innovating mobile phones for Microsoft Corporation
FAVORITE MICROSOFT PRODUCT: WINDOWS PHONE
If you ask Linda Norman what she does for Microsoft, she will whip out her Windows Phone and show you. She loves the “tiles” and even has her own Avatar. She is pleased that the Windows Phone has provided a third viable ecosystem to the Android and iPhone options.
It is not surprising that Linda would be so invested in her work— she has been with Microsoft since 1997, and prior to joining Microsoft was known as one of the “Apple Twins” working on the famous Apple v. Microsoft case (the other twin is none other than LTA Professor Bob Gomulkiewicz). Linda recalls the importance of the case at the time and still remembers stressing that the fate of the company could be on the line. Fortunately for Linda, the case outcome was favorable to Microsoft.
During her time as a litigator, Linda also played key roles in the Sun Microsystems litigation as well as antitrust litigation in Korea. In fact, Linda first joined Microsoft as a litigator, but later moved to supporting the Windows Phone Business group.
One of the things that she has enjoyed most about working for Microsoft is this ability to have multiple careers within one company. It’s nicer to be a partner building a solution, rather than being viewed as part of the problem, according to Linda. In this problem-solving capacity, Linda was one of the lead lawyers on Microsoft’s negotiations with Nokia.
Despite her illustrious career, Linda has stayed connected to UW Law by lecturing on trade secrets every summer at the CASRIP Summer Institute.Close
Dr. Karen Blöchlinger ’01 General Counsel
Prosecuting global health patents for Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
SEATTLE BIOMED RESEARCH FOCUS: MALARIA, TUBERCULOSIS, VIRAL DISEASES, EMERGING AND NEGLECTED DISEASES
Karen Blöchlinger gets up at 3:30 each morning to build bridges. She is not a civil engineer or a construction worker, but her job is to remove obstacles. The road to bringing vaccines and drugs to market that could eventually eradicate diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness is long and windy and Karen helps to smooth this path.
Prior to law school, Karen was a research scientist with a Ph.D. in molecular biology. With grant monies diminishing, she made a career shift and went back to law school to combine her scientific knowledge with a patent practice.
Karen is proud of her work now as general counsel for the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed), where she has worked since 2005 when she became Seattle BioMed¹s first in-house attorney. Seattle BioMed’s patent portfolio includes patents and patent applications related to vaccines for malaria and HIV, and diagnostics for infectious diseases.
She views the role of patents as consistent with Seattle BioMed’s mission to eradicate the world’s most devastating infectious diseases because the institute partners with for-profit organizations, which rely on the intellectual property rights to bring products to the market, but she also believes that it is time to explore a not-for-profit model for health care.
Both Karen and Seattle BioMed have a rich history with the University of Washington. Since 1992, Seattle BioMed has partnered with the University of Washington offering training programs and faculty positions to utilize the resources of one of the world¹s leading research institutes. Karen also cultivates her UW Law roots by hiring intellectual property interns, many of whom also have Ph.D.s, and are looking to make similar transitions as Karen.Close
Ben Gaffney ’01 Associate General Counsel
Leading Internet advertising, mobile ecommerce, and strategic business development for Amazon.com
FAVORITE AMAZON SERVICE: AMAZON PRIME
Back in law school, Ben Gaffney made it to the finals of the Appellate Advocacy competition with his partner Mike Hatch. The friendship endured past law school and Mike eventually lured Ben away from his IP and technology transactions practice at Davis Wright Tremaine to become Corporate Counsel for Amazon.com.
Eight years and a promotion to Associate General Counsel later, Ben still loves the excitement of working for such an innovative company. Ben strives to simplify complex legal and technological issues to provide solutions that don’t hamper innovation in a fast-moving company. As in-house counsel, you have to be flexible and search for creative alternatives that address risks while still achieving business objectives, Ben said.
In this role, Ben gets to work at the forefront of Internet advertising and technology issues. He has negotiated numerous deals with leading Internet companies, and helped Amazon build its advertising platform from the ground up. He also helps develop Amazon’s approach to collecting and sharing data, making sure customer experience is a top priority.
Ben is an avid Amazon customer himself. In fact, he has mostly stopped shopping at brick and mortar stores and purchases just about everything he can online, including groceries from Amazon Fresh. Whether this change is correlated to or caused by his position at Amazon is irrelevant; he is happy with the results.Close
Jerry Chiang ’08, General Counsel
Licensing copyright, trademark, and publicity rights for Experience Hendrix, L.L.C.
FAVORITE JIMI HENDRIX SONG: “LITTLE WING”
Jerry Chiang grew up a rabid consumer of music. His first concert was “Fatboy Slim” at the Paramount Theater in 1999. His mom drove him to the show.
Although passionate about music, Jerry never thought that he could have a legal career in the music industry in Seattle. Fast forward 14 years and Jerry is now General Counsel for Experience Hendrix, LLC, responsible for licensing and enforcing the music copyright, trademark, and publicity rights for the late Seattle music icon, Jimi Hendrix.
Out of law school Jerry joined the corporate practice in the Seattle office of Stoel Rives LLP. Only a couple of years into practice, he was approached with the opportunity to join Experience Hendrix. Then current General Counsel H. Reed Wasson was looking for a junior attorney to groom as a successor. Wasson retired after Jerry had been with Experience Hendrix for only a year and a half. With fewer years of experience than it typically takes to become a law firm partner, Jerry took over as the next General Counsel.
As General Counsel Jerry works directly with Jimi’s sister to manage the Jimi Hendrix intellectual property assets. Jerry loves working in a fun environment: it is business casual every day, except for the 27th of each month, which is “Jimi Day” in honor of Jimi Hendrix’s birthday. On that day everyone wears some sort of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia. Jerry’s favorite is a “Band of Gypsys” tee shirt.
Jerry was excited, but apprehensive, to assume such an important position so soon out of law school. He credits his fundamental knowledge about intellectual property and entertainment law issues necessary for his success to his favorite classes at UW- Advanced Copyright, IP Core, and Entertainment Law- all of which were taught by former Microsoft counsel Dan Laster.Close