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Bob Hulse
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Bob Hulse

Location: Mountain View

Impact: Shepherding gadgets, apps and services that make our lives easier and drive job growth

Chances are that you’ve recently “liked” a post on Facebook, flipped through your favorite digital magazine on Flipboard, or shared a document, photo or video using Dropbox. Now ingrained into our daily lives, these and many other tech innovations may never have reached us without the legal wizardry of Bob Hulse, a 2000 graduate of the UC Davis School of Law.

Hulse, a partner in the Fenwick & West law firm in Silicon Valley, specializes in intellectual property. He works with more than 50 technology clients — including startups and big names like Facebook, Flipboard, Dropbox and Apple — to build and protect high-value patent portfolios.

The people behind Silicon Valley’s success rely on Hulse’s expertise in patent law, engineering and business. He helps them determine how to best marry technology with corporate strategy to create valuable intellectual property assets. In doing so, he accelerates the availability of new gadgets, apps and services that make our lives easier and drive job growth, particularly in California.

“Securing intellectual property rights means engineers can continue to innovate and make the next product that changes the world,” says Hulse.

It’s a dream job for someone who is naturally curious and enjoys learning. Hulse might talk to a doctor working on a cool, new surgical device in the morning and then shift gears into bleeding-edge film animation in the afternoon. 

“Every patent attorney I’ve met gushes over the job, and I’m no exception,” says Hulse. “It’s fascinating to have an inside view into technologies everyone will be using.”

Developing a strong pipeline between the School of Law and the tech industry is important to Hulse. He returns to campus regularly to advise students about the interview process, and his firm sponsors the school’s annual Technology, Entrepreneurship, Science and Law symposiums.