EECS Grads are Everywhere

Michelle K. Lee, SB and SM '89, Head of Patents and Patent Strategy at Google since 2003

In an interesting twist of career development midst the burgeoning 1990s, Michelle K. Lee, SB and SM ‘89, came to appreciate a different side of the growing world of computer technology. Head of Patents and Patent Strategy at Google since 2003, Lee states:

“I certainly did not attend MIT with the idea of becoming an intellectual property lawyer. However, during my time at MIT, the famous Apple v. Microsoft copyright infringement case involving graphical user interfaces was being litigated, and it dawned upon me that there were and would continue to be some very interesting, cutting edge, unanswered issues in intellectual property law involving computer technology. I thought, with my MIT Course VI background, I could make a valuable contribution in this area. To further confirm my interest in intellectual property law, I took Robert Rhine’s class on innovation and patent law.”

As an MIT undergraduate, Lee ended up in Course VI-1 (EE) because she enjoyed calculus and physics. “I loved learning about Maxwell’s equations in 6.013 and 6.014. Those equations are so elegant!” It was completely natural for her to follow up with a Masters in computer science since she was part of the VI-A Program with Hewlett Packard Research Labs. Lee went on to complete her law degree at Stanford in 1992. It was only a matter of time and experience working as a top flight IP counsel in Silicon Valley, before Google recognized her legal passion for innovation and engineering.

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