Tae-Woong Koo J.D. ’09 appeared in the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2014 40 Under 40 list. He is a senior associate in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice and works behind the scenes in Silicon Valley’s technology industry to safeguard the heart of its economic vitality and cultural values: innovation.
Koo’s practice focuses on prosecuting patents and counseling inventors on strategies to protect their ideas. The holder of more than 30 patents himself, his years of work as a research scientist prior to becoming a lawyer help him guide Silicon Valley’s largest technology companies.
Born in Seoul, Korea, he he earned the title Dr. Koo while completing his Master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at MIT, and eventually landing a position as a senior research scientist at Intel. There, he studied optics and helped advance methods for its use in analyzing chemical compounds and diagnosing disease. That research led to more than 30 patents and his work was published in a dozen articles in the fields of optics, nanotechnology, microfluidics, sensors, material science, analytical chemistry, clinical chemistry and biotechnology. The process of developing those patents with legal counsel first piqued his interest in the law.
He finished his Ph.D. by age 26, then decided to attend law school at night while working full-time for Intel. Since he joined Morgan Lewis as an associate in 2009, several of the largest technology companies in Silicon Valley have entrusted him with handling complex challenges that involve advanced technologies and require sophisticated strategic considerations.