New Search

Roger S. Borovoy

  • Born: April 13, 1935, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0369
Interview Date: August 3, 2007
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Interviewer: David C. Brock
No. of pages: 91
Minutes: 178
Sponsor: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

  Abstract of Interview

Roger S. Borovoy worked as counsel at both Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporationand Intel Corporation, placing him at the heart of the semiconductor revolution in America. Hebegins 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 atFairchild Camera Instrument Corporation, meeting Gordon Moore; Borovoy quickly becameentrenched in the burgeoning electronics industry and legal issues surrounding intellectualproperty and patents. After fighting legal battles with Motorola, and dealing with internationallicensing issues, he moved on to working for Intel in 1974. Throughout the remainder of theoral 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 greatinsight into what life was like in technology development from the 1960s to the present, the wayfortunes were won and lost, and how a select group of people changed the world.


1956 B.S., Chemical and Electrical Engineering and Business, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1959 J.D. Harvard Law School

  Professional Experience

Chevron Research

1961 - 1963 Patent Attorney

Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation

1963 - 1974 Patent Counsel

Intel Corporation

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

Various high technology start-up companies

1983 - 1987 Served on Boards of Directors

Brown & Bain

1987 - 1995 Of Counsel

Fish & Richardson, P.C., Silicon Valley office

1995 - Present Of Counsel

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

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.

Hear It Firsthand

The Center for Oral History captures and preserves the stories of notable figures in chemistry and related fields, with over 425 oral histories that deal with various aspects of science, of scientists, and of scientific practices. For more information please visit CHF’s Oral History Program or e-mail oralhistory@

Annual Report

Annual Report
Take a look back at a year of preservation, research, and outreach in CHF’s annual report to supporters.

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible tax-deductible gift online.