Microsoft Shifts Top IP Lawyers, With Horacio Gutierrez Taking New Role

After eight years in charge of Microsoft’s patent licensing and intellectual property affairs, Horacio Gutierrez is shifting to a new role at the company.

Gutierrez will now head up legal affairs for Microsoft’s product teams, with Erich Andersen taking over his former role. Both report to Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith. Microsoft confirmed the shift, which was earlier reported by legal trade publication Intellectual Asset Management.

Sources say the shift is not seen as a sign that Microsoft is looking to change strategy. The company has been working for years to broadly license its patents, having inked deals with most of the major hardware makers that create Android-based and Linux-based hardware.

Andersen, a vice president, had been Microsoft’s top lawyer in Europe. Gutierrez is a corporate vice president, one rung higher on Redmond’s hierarchy.