Sharon Barner is Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., responsible for worldwide legal matters and overseeing a team of lawyers, paralegals and other professionals. She primarily specializes in intellectual property law.
Previously, Sharon served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation. She has spent most of her career in private practice, most recently leading the Intellectual Property Department at Foley & Lardner in Chicago.
Sharon received the 7th Circuit 2013 American Inns of Court Professionalism award and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ 2011 Women of Vision award. She was named one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2008 and an Illinois Super Lawyer by Law & Politics Media Inc. (2005-2011) for her intellectual property litigation work.
Sharon earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Syracuse University and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.