Interview Jonas Ridderstrale Zurück
Bruce Sewell
1. As the senior vice president and general counsel of Intel Corporation, how do you effectively promote a safe and legal digital world? Is this really possible in today's continuous fight against software piracy?

There are many dimensions to this question. Part of promoting a safe and legal digital world for a company such as Intel involves role modeling the behavior that we would like to see others follow. For this reason we have a certification program to insure that all code used in our products is either original to Intel (i.e., we wrote it), or that we have the appropriate intellectual property rights needed to incorporate that code into our products. Externally, Intel works closely with many international organizations and governments to promote anti-piracy programs and increased respect for intellectual property rights.

2. Without piracy, how much could a company increase its revenue – could you give us a concrete example, in percentages? Does the lack or removal of software piracy have a positive influence on employment process?

The impact of software piracy will vary greatly from one company to another, so there isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. However, in general what we see is that large established companies can adapt to the impact of IP theft more easily than very small or start-up companies can. This does not mean that the larger companies like piracy, quite the contrary, but in terms of who is most damaged by the practice, unfortunately that burden often falls most heavily on smaller local software entrepenuers.

3. As Intel's general counsel, you are responsible for legal and government affairs worldwide. What was or is, at the present moment, the most difficult threat or issue you were/are confronting regarding Intellectual Property?

Today in the United States we are experiencing a crisis in the way a small number of companies are exploiting our current patent and litigation systems. The impact of this activity is to levy a tax on successful companies that does not help consumers or produce any positive social benefit, but instead creates extreme wealth for a very small number of lawyers and business executives. We need to fix the problems that allow this behavior to flourish. There are two bills presently before the US Congress which will go a long way to improving this situation. My most important focus today is to assist in getting those bills enacted into law.

4. Software companies, all around the world, are quite fragile when it comes to breaking copyright and IP laws. How could they protect themselves against piracy attacks, internal (their own employees), as well as external ones? What are the most efficient practical pieces of advice you would give them?

At Intel we are very concerned about the issues of piracy and security. We strive to develop technologies that increase the general safety of the platform as a whole by enhancing the protection of transactions and data. In our experience true security relies on ‘peer review’ and not ‘security secrecy’. Creating incentives to have the best and brightest minds applied in productive ways to enhancing the security of IT products is the best way to promote software innovation and establish a safe and trusted IT infrastructure.

5. What are Intel's employee policies? Could you give us some examples? Are they restrictive or relaxed? Do you promote or encourage employee diversity and why?

This is a very broad question. Intel has approximately 90,000 employees located in offices and facilities all around the world. Intel also derives more than 50% of its revenue from commercial activity outside of the United States. For these reasons diversity among our employees is not just an option for us, it is a necessary part of who we are as a company. At Intel we hire the most outstanding employees we can find regardless of where they are from or where they are located. Then we try to provide those employees with challenging work, on-going training, and exciting career opportunities.

6. Could you please tell us what are Intel's investments or plans for future investments in support centers/call centers and help desks in Eastern and Central Europe, in countries like Romania, for instance, where the Call Center phenomenon has registered a very quick development in the last 5 years?

Unlike a consumer products company, Intel does not require an extensive network of support/call centers. Intel’s products are generally purchased by other high-tech companies who then use our goods to build technology products that are sold to end-users. In general, however, we are always on the look out for investment opportunities anywhere in the world that will compliment our business and help our customers grow their businesses.
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