Microsoft has announced the appointment of Marshall Phelps Jr. as its corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property.
Phelps will be responsible for supervising the software giant's intellectual property groups, including those responsible for trademarks, trade secrets, patents and copyrights.
He will lead the company's work to manage its intellectual property portfolio, including approximately 3,000 US-issued patents and over 11,000 trademark registrations worldwide.
Microsoft said its intellectual property portfolio has grown markedly in recent years in conjunction with its increasing research and development investments and commitment to basic research.
"Intellectual property is becoming even more important to the technology industry and to Microsoft's continued innovation," said Brad Smith, senior vice president and general counsel at Microsoft.
"As a company we are receiving increasing requests from those who wish to license our intellectual property rights.
"Marshall's vast experience will be instrumental to managing the company's broad intellectual property portfolio and in working with others in our industry in a collaborative way."
Phelps said: "Microsoft is clearly committed to innovation and fostering a respect for the company's own intellectual property and that of others."
Phelps joins Microsoft after a 28-year career with IBM, where he was vice president for intellectual property and licensing.
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