Tom Rubin is Chief Intellectual Property Strategy Counsel at Microsoft, where he leads the company’s copyright, trademark and trade secret group. Tom spearheads complex product development, licensing, marketing, enforcement and global policy strategies across Microsoft’s business divisions, including Windows, Microsoft Office, Bing, Skype, Windows Phone, MSN and Xbox. At Microsoft since 1998, Tom is an internationally recognized expert on legal, policy and business issues related to creative content, technological innovation and the Internet.
Tom has led several collaborative efforts with leaders in the technology and creative industries, including product partnerships, policy initiatives, amicus briefs and the landmark User Generated Content Principles. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and addressed the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, the International Copyright Forum in China, the International Copyright Technology Conference in Korea, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Tom taught a seminar at Stanford Law School in 2011 entitled “Copyright, the Internet and Industry,” and has guest lectured at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley and elsewhere. He has published an op-ed about intellectual property in the Financial Times and addressed many leading legal and business organizations, including the American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Owners Association, Copyright Society of the USA, World Intellectual Property Organization, Association of American Publishers, Magazine Publishers of America, Association of Online Publishers UK, European Publishers Council and World Association of Newspapers.
A graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School, Tom’s career has centered on the intersection of technology and content. Prior to Microsoft, he 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. In private practice at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, he represented companies such as Sony and Time Inc. on matters related to new technologies and media law. And prior to law school, Tom worked in the newsroom of The New York Times and was a stringer for the Associated Press.
Early in his legal career, Tom clerked for Judge Leonard B. Sand in the Southern District of New York and Chief Judge James L. Oakes in the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While clerking for Chief Judge Oakes, he taught an undergraduate seminar at Yale entitled “The Rights of Criminal Defendants.”
Tom has received numerous honors for his work, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Corporate ADR Award, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney, and the top award from the U.S. Customs Service. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors at Stanford Law School and on the Board of Advisors of CCH’s Guide to Computer Law.