Thomas C. Rubin of Seattle, Wash., is the former chief intellectual property strategy counsel at Microsoft, where he lead the company’s copyright, trademark and trade secret group. At Microsoft from 1998-2014, he led global policy strategies as well as complex product development, licensing, marketing and enforcement issues across Microsoft’s business divisions.
Tom is an expert on legal, policy and business issues related to creative content, technological innovation and the Internet. He has led several collaborative efforts with leaders in the technology and content industries, including product partnerships, policy initiatives and amicus briefs. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and addressed the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, International Copyright Forum in China, International Copyright Technology Conference in Korea, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., World Association of Newspapers, European Publishers Council, Association of American Publishers, Magazine Publishers of America and Association of Online Publishers UK, among many others. In addition, Tom has taught seminars at Stanford Law School and Yale College, and lectures regularly at Harvard and elsewhere.
Tom started his career as a journalist and has remained deeply involved in the field as a lawyer. While in college at Yale, he was the editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine, stringer for the Associated Press and summer intern at CBS News in London and WNET in New York. He then worked at The New York Times for two years, first as a copyboy and then news clerk and supervisor. After graduating from Stanford Law School, he practiced media law for clients ranging from Time Inc. to Howard Stern at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. And while at Microsoft, he worked with Slate, MSNBC and MSN.
Before joining Microsoft, Tom was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he was one of the country’s first prosecutors of computer, electronic and intellectual property crimes and was awarded the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Tom has been a longtime fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet & Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Creative Commons, the Board of Visitors at Stanford Law School, and the Board of Advisors of CCH’s Guide to Computer Law.