Mark H. Webbink

Senior Lecturing Fellow


Mark H. Webbink is a visiting professor of law and executive director of the Center for Patent Innovations at New York Law School. Mr. Webbink received his B.A. Degree from Purdue University in 1972, his Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in 1974, and his J.D., magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 1994. From 1994 to 2000 Webbink practiced with Moore & Van Allen, PLLC in Durham, North Carolina, where his practice focused on intellectual property transactions. In 2000 Webbink joined Red Hat, Inc. as its first general counsel. He was subsequently elected a senior vice president and secretary of the company. Webbink served as general counsel until June 2004 when he returned to his primary area of interest as deputy general counsel for intellectual property. He served in that role through August 2007, when he retired from Red Hat. During Webbink's tenure with Red Hat he developed a number of groundbreaking intellectual property practices, including Red Hat's Patent Promise and the legal foundations for Red Hat's subscription model for open source software. Webbink serves on the board of directors of the Software Freedom Law Center.

Mr. Webbink has written and spoken extensively on the subjects of open source software, software patents, and patent reform, including testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, and the National Academy of Sciences. Webbink has had articles published by the Queensland University of Technology, the Duke Law and Technology Review, Internet Law & Business, and New South Wales Society for Computers and the Law. Webbink's article Understanding Open Source Software has been reprinted around the world as a primer on open source licensing. Webbink has lectured at the Computer Law Institute of the Practicing Law Institute, Georgetown's Advanced Computer and Internet Law Institute, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Licensing Executives Society, and numerous law schools, including the University of California – Berkeley, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Michigan, Queensland University of Technology, and University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, as well as Duke University.