To read the full interview with Alan Tse, click here.
Q: Did you always aspire to lead a legal department?
A: When I first took the role of GC at CenterPoint, my primary motivation was to be a better lawyer. I want to be a good lawyer who is business-minded instead of a lawyer turned businessman. So from that point on I knew that being the head of a legal department is what I wanted to do.
Q: Quanta Computer Inc. v. LG Electronics Inc. is considered one of the most important IP cases of 2008. What did you, and the rest of your team, learn from that case?
A: That you’re in real trouble when the Supreme Court takes your IP case if they don’t take it to affirm the circuit’s judgment. They take it to reverse. And the 9-0 judgment bears that out in striking terms.
It was a case centered on the licensing of a patent by LG Electronics to Intel, so it’s a different business segment. It didn’t have anything to do with the cell phone business. So I didn’t have any business role in relation to that. I was just following it from a legal standpoint, just like most folks.
Q: What is most challenging about your job?
A: We deal with a lot of different issues that are very diverse on an everyday basis. From litigation to commercial issues to trademark issues to trying to get my arms around all of this on a global basis from a very small legal department.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The exact same things. We get to do all these different things. We can actually see our work and what we do affecting the business, affecting change. I can see my products in friends’ and family’s hands. I like to see people enjoying our products. It’s fun, as opposed to my previous company, my first in-house job: We built networks. Try to explain that to friends and family. Who doesn’t understand cell phones?