SOL Lawyer Magazine_Fall 2021


NATHAN KUMAGAI ’00 B.A., ’08 J.D. Qualcomm, Legal Counsel

Why IP law? Out of college, I was a software

developer. An opportunity opened to build on that background: when I started practicing law, a partner was buried in interesting technology work and needed an associate. I was lucky to get a great start, which led to my current job in a big tech company.


What’s the best part of your practice?

I help software teams create and use open source software, make good licensing decisions and protect IP rights. In-house legal work is just a part of the job though – I get to be a “diplomat,” build consensus, be creative and come up with win-win ideas. What’s a challenging part of your practice? Being effective in a big organization. The best approach is to stay curious and understand the interests of partners and clients, not just those of my job. What is a misconception about IP law and your response to it? In a company, people may see lawyers as obstacles to getting things done. We protect company IP assets and sometimes need to pump the brakes. At our best, we use our knowledge and experience to help solve problems or suggest other ways to create progress.

Fall 2021 Page 21

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