Emily Crowe Jun. 27, 2016, 5:48pm

SAN JOSE – Global internet technology company LeEco appointed Joshua McGuire to the role of vice president and general counsel.

McGuire, who spent seven years as Google's lead legal counsel in charge of mobile and Android patent strategy, has been tasked with overseeing all aspects of LeEco’s U.S. legal affairs and intellectual property protection. According to the company, McGuire will play a key role in LeEco’s plans to bring its vertically integrated ecosystem to U.S. consumers.

"LeEco is different from other technology companies," McGuire told the Northern California Record. "It is not the typical company that just sells phones or TVs, or even a company that just focuses on content or the internet. They are all this but more, and the sum is truly greater than the parts. LeEco's vision of a true ecosystem where a user experience is seamless across all your devices and yet personalized to you is what convinced me to join LeEco."

During his time at Google, McGuire says he learned that the fundamental key to success is whether or not a company is focused on its users and their experience.

"LeEco is truly about delivering an entire ecosystem of experience to users that is personalized and constantly evolving," he said. "We want to quickly iterate in our software and hardware so that users experience the best we have to offer. I intent to do everything I can to encourage and keep that process running smoothly."

Beijing-based LeEco officially opened its U.S. headquarters in San Jose in April. Its integrated ecosystem technology encompasses platform, content, applications and smart devices, including an electric car.

"My main objective is to partner with the LeEco business to bring our ecosystem of content, cloud, and devices to users across the globe including in North America," McGuire said.

As far as intellectual property protection, McGuire believes an important issue in the patent world is how to encourage unifying the economic value of a patent with the underlying technology.

"For example, because of inefficiencies in the litigation process, a disjoinder of the economic value of the patent and the underlying technology frequently occurs," he explained. "Non-practicing entity nuisance litigation is a good example. The value of the invention may be very small, but the cost of litigation is high, so it can push the value of the patent up simply because it will have to be litigated or settled. The settlement amount will be based more on the value to avoiding litigation than based on the value of the underlying technology.

"There have been several proposals to address this including fee-shifting so that the losing party bares the cost of bringing the claim. That would discourage some of these frivolous lawsuits. There has been proposed legislation incorporating this idea. Sadly, it has not had much traction."

McGuire earned his law degree from University of California, Berkeley School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

He was named a rising star among U.S. Corporate Counsel by The Legal 500 in 2014 and was a recipient of the 2014 Deal of Distinction awarded by the Licensing Executives Society (LES) for representing Google in Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google.

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