Sharon R. Barner has returned to the Intellectual Property Department in the Chicago office of Foley & Lardner as a partner. Barner most recently was deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where she helped shorten the time it takes to grant a patent, improve quality and develop the National Intellectual Property Strategy. Barner initially joined Foleys Chicago office in 1996 and held a number of leadership positions, including chair of the firms Intellectual Property Department. She was also a member of the firms Management Committee. Barner has a J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1982 and a B.S. from Syracuse University in 1979.