Most people would not naturally see a connection between civil rights advocacy and patent law. Both are highly specialized, and disparate areas of law full of experts who have spent years, if not decades, toiling in the trenches of academia, public policy and in the courts. Cheng went to law school originally inspired by the desire to engage in pioneering civil rights advocacy, driven by his own experience with regressive practices and jurisprudence in the field. He exited law school as a corporate lawyer, determined to stay as far from courtrooms as he could.
Ironically, despite his background, Cheng has probably become best known for his work in patent litigation, despite being neither a patent lawyer nor a litigator. He did so to help ensure room for continued innovation and entrepreneurism in a world where various interests, via patents or otherwise, are utilizing their considerable resources to attempt to create and exert negative, rent-seeking monopolistic controls over future opportunities.
This talk focuses on how Cheng thinks anyone can help to bring about positive change as long as they have enough passion, and a willingness to not accept that things must stay the way they are simply because they have always or long been. He shares the experiences that led him to a career in the law, and then to try to effect the changes that he considered right and necessary. He encourages the members of the audience to each do what they can to practice law effectively by viewing what they do as a mission, and to provide a framework for helping them identify and tilt at their own windmills at work and in society at large.
About Lee Cheng
Lee Cheng is the Chief Legal Officer, SVP of Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary at Newegg Inc., a $2.8B global (N. America and China) internet retailer that is the largest privately held e-commerce company in North America. He oversees or has run Newegg’s Legal, Corporate Development, Compliance, Ethics, Human Resources, Government Relations and Risk Management functions, and created the Newegg Foundation to facilitate and encourage community and philanthropic activity at Newegg.