Innovation Counsel – Large Corporation – Alameda, Calif.

VF Corporation VF Corporationis looking for a talented and experienced patent attorney to serve as its Innovation Counsel, sitting in Alameda, CA, but reporting directly to the General Counsel of VF.  In this highly visible position, you will support VF’s three Global Innovation Centers (GICs) focused on performance apparel, footwear and jeanswear.  The GICs are a dynamic, entrepreneurial and rapidly growing part of VF that are charged with supporting breakthrough, game changing innovations that will lead the apparel, footwear and jeanswear spaces.

We are looking for someone who has a true passion for innovative technology to advance performance apparel, footwear and jeanswear products.  You will provide strategic patent and legal advice to the GICs to introduce and protect new and innovative technologies.  You will have significant influence on the development and execution of our patent strategy and patent processes.  Responsibilities include client counseling, invention development, inventor education, clearance, patentability and landscape analysis and management of the drafting, filing, prosecuting and maintaining of our growing US and foreign patent portfolio.  Other responsibilities will include collaborating with business leaders to support innovation transactions and strategic partnerships.  The ideal candidate will become embedded with the builders of our newest technologies to encourage the creation and protection of intellectual property to ensure long-term competitive advantage.

Description/Core Responsibilities

  • Proactively engage with business partners to identify and examine potential intellectual property opportunities and encourage the creation and protection of intellectual property to ensure long-term competitive advantage
  • Formulate, implement and drive a patent strategy for the GICs latest innovations
  • Develop, coordinate and review patent research and analysis projects, including prior art searches, competitive intelligence, white space analyses, landscapes, patentability analyses, portfolio analyses, infringement/non-infringement analyses, validity/invalidity analyses and freedom to operate analyses
  • Manage the drafting, filing, prosecuting and maintaining of US and foreign patent portfolio
  • Set and implement patent policies
  • Develop and implement internal systems, processes and innovation technology platform for tracking innovation and intellectual property throughout the organization
  • Drive engagement and use of systems, processes and innovation platform across businesses and departments within the organization
  • Prepare and negotiate agreements including those related to strategic partnerships, joint development programs, University relations, and employment issues
  • Advise on the acquisition, development and commercialization of third party technologies
  • Spearhead internal education initiatives and trainings related to IP and processes
  • Establish and manage legal budget in support of GICs


  • 5+years of legal experience (with some experience at a law firm) as patent attorney; in-house experience in a large corporate environment preferred
  • Juris Doctor and membership in good standing in at least one state bar is required
  • A Bachelor’s degree with a technical background
  • Registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)


  • Understanding of a wide variety of technology areas including materials science, fabric construction, apparel and footwear manufacturing processes and equipment, apparel and footwear design and construction and electronics.
  • Ability to identify effective methods of protecting intellectual property related to the apparel, footwear and jeanswear industries
  • Experience in innovation, R&D or a science/engineering/technical field
  • Strong communication skills with innovators, technologists and senior business leaders
  • Proven track history of supporting innovation
  • Experience with developing and implementing IP strategies and conducting freedom to-operate analyses, IP portfolio analyses, competitive analyses, and/or landscape mapping
  • Have personally prepared and prosecuted patent applications and managed US patent and foreign patent prosecution
  • Experience with IP transactions
  • Experience setting and managing a legal budget
  • Common sense, great judgment, and a good sense of humor
  • Proactive, positive, curious and self-motivated
  • Customer-focused with strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Able to work independently while being able to drive collaboration among cross-functional teams
  • Self-starter, autonomous, and rigorous team player
  • Superior organization and project management skills
  • Able to multi-task, manage multiple priorities, and deliver results in a fast-paced environment
  • Business deal-making and negotiation acumen

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Additional Info
Employer Type: Large Corporation
Job Location: Alameda, California