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Q&A with Betty Chen: Silicon Valley Lawyer Creating Value for Women in STEM

April 3, 2017

Q&A with Betty Chen: Silicon Valley Lawyer Creating Value for Women in STEM

April 3, 2017

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Fish Principal Betty Chen is one of four women at Fish who have been named recipients of the 2017 “Women Worth Watching in STEM” award by Profiles in Diversity Journal (PDJ). The other Fish recipients are Lauren Degnan, Dr. Anita Meiklejohn, and Susan Morrison. PDJ notes that “these leaders are breaking barriers for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.”

Below is an exclusive interview between Betty Chen and PDJ. Click here to read all interviews from PDJ’s 2017 “Women Worth Watching in STEM”.


SILICON VALLEY LAWYER CREATING VALUE FOR WOMEN IN STEM

Betty Chen, a principal in Fish & Richardson’s Silicon Valley office, has an extensive practice spanning all areas of intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Fortune 100 and startup companies turn to Chen for the defense and protection of a multitude of groundbreaking technologies in the computer science, computer hardware, medical device, and consumer product fields.

A driving force in national and international patent law, Chen is a tireless mentor, litigator and leader who serves as an inspiration to women and minorities. She is a STEM role model at the firm, serves as its global hiring principal, is the group leader of its Silicon Valley Litigation Practice, co-leader of its Women’s Initiative, and is instrumental in Fish’s firm-wide Diversity Initiative.

In a recent patent litigation showdown, Chen represented Apple in a complex web of disputes involving patents and lawsuits across multiple jurisdictions. Last year, she secured a victory for a global leader in dialysis treatment in claims brought by a former research and development employee. Another success for Chen and her colleagues was effectively defending Adobe Systems Incorporated against patent infringement claims involving the company’s imaging and editing software, Photoshop.

Through her work on Fish’s international Diversity Initiative, she links attorneys from the firms’ offices throughout the U.S. and in Munich, Germany, to aid in the outreach, recruitment, retention and professional development of a diverse legal workforce. As co-leader of Fish’s Redwood City Women’s Initiative, she helps provide tools and resources to help Fish’s female staff achieve personal and professional success.

Outside the office, Chen serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian Law Alliance and takes on pro bono cases for Kid s in Need of Defense.

In the words of Betty Chen:

How can the world increase diversity in the STEM Fields?
I believe we can broaden the pipeline and path for individuals in STEM fields by educating students early on about the value of STEM fields and how they can mesh with other disciplines. In short, we need to make sure we are fostering retention – not just recruitment – of diversity in STEM fields.”

How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“I believe that we should focus additional efforts on the treatment of diverse individuals in STEM fields. We need diversity in STEM fields, of course, but we also need to cultivate respect and utilize the different ideas that grow out of that diversity.”

Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“I see women in STEM to be more prevalent and relevant. I also hope that women will be more comfortable taking maternity leave because there will be better support structures in place at the workplace.”

Words I live by:
“Nothing will work unless you do.”

Attorney Bio

Headshot
Betty H. Chen | Principal

Betty Chen, a Principal in the Silicon Valley and Austin offices of Fish & Richardson, is a trial lawyer who uses creative approaches based on her vast experience in courtrooms across the country to litigate high-stakes and high-profile patent, trade secret, antitrust, breach of...

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