Roger S. Borovoy

Born: April 13, 1935 | Milwaukee, WI, US

Roger S. Borovoy worked as counsel at both Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation and Intel Corporation, placing him at the heart of the semiconductor revolution in America. He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, after a short period of time at Chevron Research, Borovoy began to work as Patent Counsel at Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation, meeting Gordon Moore. Borovoy quickly became entrenched in the burgeoning electronics industry and legal issues surrounding intellectual property and patents. After fighting legal battles with Motorola, and dealing with international licensing issues, he moved on to working for Intel in 1974. 

Access This Interview

The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.

			

Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0369
No. of pages: 84
Minutes: 177

Interview Sessions

David C. Brock
3 August 2007
Boston, Massachusetts

Abstract of Interview

Roger S. Borovoy worked as counsel at both Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation and Intel Corporation, placing him at the heart of the semiconductor revolution in America. He begins his oral history discussing his choice of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for his undergraduate degree, as well as his early interest in the law, especially patent law. Aftera short period of time at Chevron Research, Borovoy began to work as Patent Counsel at Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation, meeting Gordon Moore; Borovoy quickly became entrenched in the burgeoning electronics industry and legal issues surrounding intellectual property and patents. After fighting legal battles with Motorola, and dealing with international licensing issues, he moved on to working for Intel in 1974. Throughout the remainder of the oral history, Borovoy reflects upon the AMD processor agreement, the Chip Protection Act, Gordon Moore and the culture of Intel, as well as his life after leaving Intel. He provides great insight into what life was like in technology development from the 1960s to the present, the way fortunes were won and lost, and how a select group of people changed the world. 

Education

Year Institution Degree Discipline
1956 Massachusetts Institute of Technology BS Chemical and Electrical Engineering and Business
1959 Harvard Law School JD

Professional Experience

Chevron Research

1961 to 1963
Patent Attorney

Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation

1963 to 1974
Patent Counsel

Intel Corporation

1974 to 1983
Served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

Brown & Bain

1987 to 1995
Counsel

Fish & Richardson, P.C.

1995 to 2008
Counsel

Table of Contents

Early Interests, the Law, and Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation
1

Why he chose MIT. Early interest in law. How he got into Patent law Offered job by Robert Noyce. Impressions of Noyce and Moore. Kilby v. Noyce. Cross-licensing.

Time at Fairchild
19

Companies start breaking off. Trade secret suits. Interactions with Gordon Moore. Metal oxide semiconductors. Difficulties in intellectual property and patent law. Cross Licensing in the Electronics Industry.

Fighting Motorola
35

Les Hogan comes from Motorola. Motorola files suit on trade secrets. Court battle and settlement. Licensing and Japan. Highly profitable. Different forms of licensing.

Working at Intel
46

Arrives in 1974. Interactions with Noyce and Moore. Andrew Grove. AT&T sues Intel. No existing record of depositions. AMD microprocessor agreement. Five year arbitration. Trial after he left.

Chip Protection Act and Other Legal Issues
60

Wrote original draft. Act wasn't really important. HR legal responsibilities.

Gordon Moore as a Person
65

Very reserved but employee focused. Opposite personality of Noyce. Working for Gordon Moore.

Life after Intel
73

Private practice. Venture capital in the current market. Patent infringement.

The Culture of Intel
77

Gordon Moore's influence. Integrity. Honesty.

Index
82

About the Interviewer

David C. Brock

David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.

In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.