Emmy, ZZ Top and Me
Published in 2010 Texas Rising Stars magazine on March 17, 2010
Brooks Taylor first became interested in law in the mid-1980s when the company he worked for, Vari-Lite, was sued for patent infringement. “Out of the group of engineers in the company I seemed to have the best aptitude for reading and understanding patents,” he says. His involvement in the lawsuit sparked his interest in intellectual property, and eventually he became the company’s IP manager. In 2001 he left Vari-Lite and worked as a technical patent adviser at Hughes & Luce, now K&L Gates. Without a law degree he was limited in the kind of advice he wanted to give clients, so in 2002 he enrolled at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. “It was out of frustration, really,” he says.
Today, Taylor is a patent attorney at Munck Carter in Dallas. He says he is better able to counsel his clients because of his background as an engineer. “I’ve done all these things from the client side,” he says. “I feel that it gives me a better understanding of what questions they are going to ask and haven’t yet realized they want to ask.” He is also able to use his knowledge when advising clients on buying or selling a company. “It’s having the experience of managing a portfolio and knowing about the breadth of coverage that a portfolio can give a company,” he says.
His career as an engineer has helped Taylor as a lawyer, but he is modest about his past success. The inventions he worked on not only won Emmy awards but have also been used on tour by such iconic musicians as Genesis, Paul Anka and ZZ Top.