Tom Maliska

Class of

I finished my 5th year in 1983, taking a degree in Political Science.  It was a narrow choice over Physics, but I rarely dwelt in that department.  I was an early honors program graduate in Values-Technology-Science & Society, the precursor to STS.  The values component was very important to me, and emphasized in the work I did with Walter Vincenti, Barry Katz, and Robert McGinn.  To the latter two I owe much of my insight into what matters in the understanding of technology and its consequences.  And the need to learn about everything under the sun.  Main lesson and driver in my life: technology without values is an unfinished business.  

Upon graduation, Peter Lyman introduced me to Instruction & Research Information Systems on campus, where I deployed networks within many campus departments and student residences until 1987.  I have engaged intellectually and professionally in the computing and networking field ever since.  I was lucky to step into that early digital world where the leading minds and business leaders were only a phone call away.  

I took a Stanford Law School degree in 1990, with support and mentoring from Paul Brest and others, and did pioneering legal work in software, networking and intellectual property.  A career at then-venerable firm of Heller Ehrman followed, bridging the tech industries in Seattle and Silicon Valley.  I built community and served on boards of emerging industry associations (most notably the Digital Media Alliance/Washington Software Association, now the Washington Technology Industry Association).  

In 1997, I launched my own technology consulting and investment practice, Kindling® - and maintain that practice, now 20 years. I love working in stealth mode on new technologies and concepts.  A synthesis of futurism, intellectual property, design and technical logic.  I have worked with founders and technologists in a variety of technology ventures – from startup to public company; building portfolios of IP assets.  I also specialize consulting in patent and intellectual property litigation for my clients.  

I am also presently of Counsel at an IP law firm, COJK (, a nice collaboration with my Kindling® practice.. I also work from time to time with a lovely practice in Paris, Cabinet Benech; Frederic Benech is a worldly and intelligent friend of many years.  

My personal side: raising a family of 5 boys with my lovely Gretchen – two out of college, one in, two in middle school.  Now parenting: there’s another set of STS questions, there.