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Vobach Move to Swanson & Bratschun Adds Software & EE IP Depth

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lawyer is well-known for volunteer efforts on behalf of many entrepreneurial groups

Denver, CO -- Patent attorney William Vobach, formerly a partner with the Denver office of San Francisco-based Townsend Townsend and Crew, has joined the intellectual property law firm of Swanson & Bratschun, LLC as a partner, adding depth to its software and electrical engineering practice. With the addition of Vobach, the firm this year has expanded its number of lawyers and agents from ten to 12.

Swanson & Bratschun, with seven professionals who hold doctorate degrees in chemistry, microbiology and related fields, is best-known for its work on behalf of biotechnology clients. "Bill Vobach brings ‘critical mass’ to our firm’s E.E. and software practice," said the firm’s co-founder, Tom Bratschun.

"He is an expert in business methods patents, too. He’s a ‘big picture’ guy who has a feel for the context of his clients’ challenges. A lot of that comes from the insights and knowledge he has gained through volunteering his time to entrepreneurial groups, business incubators and economic development organizations."

Vobach said he moved to Swanson & Bratschun because, "I was drawn to working with a smaller firm that has first-class credentials. It appeals to my entrepreneurial side. Also, smaller firms have fewer conflicts of interest with potential new clients." He said he believes that smaller, regional firms are gaining favor with clients because of time and cost efficiencies.

After earning two undergraduate degrees, including one in electrical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Vobach worked as an electrical engineer in Indianapolis for three years, then went on to earn his law degree in 1994 from the University of Denver. He was employed by Santangelo Law Offices in Fort Collins for four years before joining Townsend in 1998 as an associate; he became a partner in 2003.

He is co-editor of the IP and Technology section of The Colorado Lawyer – the Colorado Bar Association’s monthly journal. He is a contributing author on "Patent Law" for the Colorado Bar Association’s book, The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Business Organizations. While in law school, he was on the Board of Editors for The DU Law Review.

Volunteering his time extensively, he currently works with CTEK, an entrepreneurial support organization; the Colorado Software and Internet Association; Silicon Flatirons, focused on IT and telecom policy; the Colorado School of Mines’ Eighth Continent Project, a space engineering group; the Boulder Innovation Center, a business incubator organization; and is a member of the Colorado Association of Corporate Counsel.

His contributions to entrepreneurial and economic organizations resulted in his being honored by the Denver Business Journal in 2002 with its "Forty under 40" award, given to 40 business leaders under age 40.

CTEK Executive Director Gary Held said, "Bill is an important part of the entrepreneurial community. He is supportive and extremely active in CTEK and many other organizations, in addition to spending countless hours helping numerous early stage technology companies get going."

According to Burke Fort, director of the 8th Continent Project of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines, "Bill Vobach is not just a highly regarded IP lawyer, he is a leader. He truly enjoys volunteering his time and talents to help emerging companies. He has been a wonderful contributor to our project, and will be a major asset to Swanson & Bratschun."

Swanson & Bratschun, located in Littleton, was formed as an intellectual property firm by Barry Swanson, Ph.D. and Tom Bratschun in 1994. Its focus is on the acquisition, enforcement, and licensing of patents, trademarks, and copyrights in the U.S. and internationally. Each of its 12 professionals is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

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