Michael R. Cohen, CIPP/US, CIPP/E

Michael Cohen possesses more than 30 years of experience advising clients on legal matters involving intellectual property with special expertise related to information technology, data protection, privacy, and security.

Michael previously served as local chair of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and he is acknowledged as a thought leader in data privacy and security. In recognition of his passing examinations in the area of United States privacy laws and an advanced concentration in European data protection laws, standards, and practices, he has been awarded both the CIPP/US and CIPP/E certification by the IAPP.

Michael served as the in-house counsel for Lawson Software, as a partner at a top-tier intellectual property law firm, and as a special assistant attorney general responsible for government procurement of technology and related services.

Michael is also the author of Computer Contracts and Entertainment Industry Agreements, published by Thomson/West, and primary author of A Legal Guide to the Internet, A Legal Guide to Technology Transactions, A Legal Guide to the Use of Social Media in the Workplace, and A Legal Guide to Privacy and Data Security, all published by the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Michael also serves as the firm's Privacy Officer and is a frequent lecturer and author on topics related to data privacy and intellectual property.

Representative Experience


  • As privacy counsel, advises clients in “privacy by design” initiatives, incident management, and planning for data breach; breach notification; compliance with federal, state, and global data privacy laws and regulations; preparation of appropriate notices, policies, and procedures; employee training; and a variety of other data privacy and security matters
  • Assists clients in identifying, evaluating, and managing risks associated with privacy and information security practices
  • Advises clients on GLB, HIPAA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, FCRA, VPPA, security breach notification laws, and other U.S state and federal privacy and data security laws and regulations, as well as global data protection requirements
  • Provides guidance on cybersecurity risks, incidents, and policy issues, including proactive cyber incident readiness
  • Conducts privacy assessments and audits
  • Develops corporate records management programs and employee training
  • Routinely assists clients in developing proactive cybersecurity readiness and appropriate responses to unauthorized access and use of data
  • Advises many multinational clients on Privacy Shield certification, Model Contracts, and other methods to allow for data transfers from EU
  • Counsels clients on data collection and sharing issues (including behavioral advertising and Big Data initiatives), as well as text messaging campaigns and TCPA compliance
  • Counsels clients on data monetization efforts


  • Comprehensive intellectual property, privacy, and e-commerce audits
  • Cross branding and trademark license agreements for use in food industry
  • License agreement with Disney for use by licensee of copyrighted images on clothing, gift items, and related accessories
  • Licensing rights negotiations with major film companies for use by food company of major feature films for promotional purposes
  • Music publishing agreements and related contracts for songwriters and others for record and music publishing company
  • All forms of technology agreements including software licenses, data processing, data privacy and security addendums, hosting, SaaS, PaaS, ASP, outsourcing, development, cloud based, data center, subscription services, support services , SLA’s, disaster recovery, source code escrow, online licensing, and related agreements
  • Collaborative research agreement related to development of medical devices between Minnesota corporation and London based company
  • Software distribution agreement between Minnesota developer of Web based business content management software and London based distributor
  • Stent license agreement for leading provider of surface modification coatings for medical devices
  • Manufacturing, supply, and license agreements for world leader in design and manufacture of quick disconnect couplings used in industrial, medical, chemical handling, and food and beverage industries
  • Software development and license agreements for largest provider of sales force automation software
  • Research and license agreement with NREL, the United States Department of Energy's premier laboratory for renewable energy research
  • Sponsored research agreements between various universities throughout the country for purpose of developing products for commercial use by private companies
  • Patent licenses for processes and products in the pharmaceutical, medical, electronic, telecommunications, agricultural, and other industries
  • Computer network system acquisition including all hardware, software, and related services for use by a large national retailer based in Minnesota and implemented nationwide
  • Multimillion-dollar agreement between the State of Minnesota and software vendor for the consolidation of the delivery of health and human services into one computer system network that included review and application of state and federal procurement regulations, as well as appropriate computer contracts
  • Agreements related to large-scale outsourcing of information technology by multinational financial services institution
  • All forms of license agreements, terms of use, privacy policies, security policies, social media policies, and related forms for e-commerce businesses

Court Memberships

  • Minnesota


  • “North Star Lawyers,” Minnesota State Bar Association, 2015, 2017-2018


Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals KnowledgeNet Program, Minnesota chapter, chair
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Computer Law Section, member of the Executive Council, past president
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Cybersecurity and Privacy Law Program, Affiliated Professor

Community Involvement

  • Jewish Community Relations Council, board member


Legal alerts

Photo of Michael R. Cohen, CIPP/US, CIPP/E
  • Minneapolis

    80 South Eighth Street
    500 IDS Center
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
F: 612.632.4345


Lori Kleinschmidt


University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1985

University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1977

Hebrew University, 1974