The first stop on a tour of Fossil Inc.’s eclectic and casual main office in Richardson, Texas, is a large room where teams of designers work on designs for the company’s latest watches and accessories. In each pod, a trend board features pictures from fashion magazines, photographs taken during competitive shopping excursions, beads and swatches of fabric.

The scene seems far removed from the world of lawyering, but Randy Hyne, vice president for legal affairs, general counsel and secretary for Fossil, plays a vital role in bringing Fossil’s products to the marketplace. As Fossil’s top attorney, Hyne consults with Fossil’s designers on potential patents, naming issues and other questions.