Profiles in IP Law

An Interview with Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel, Cummins Inc.

Cheryl L. Black

©2016. Published in Landslide, Vol. 8, No. 3, January/February 2016, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Sharon is vice president and general counsel for Cummins Inc., where she is responsible for worldwide legal matters. With more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession, Sharon primarily specializes in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Cummins, she served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During the two years she spent in that role, Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives, as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation. She has spent the majority of her career in private practice, most recently at the law firm of Foley & Lardner in Chicago, where she led the firm’s intellectual property department, a team of more than 200 intellectual property lawyers.

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