California Fellow David J. Tsai recently began his term as President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) for 2018-2019. AABA is one of the largest Asian American bar associations in the nation and one of the largest minority bar associations in the State of California. From its inception in 1976, AABA and its attorneys have been actively involved in civil rights issues and community service. AABA members filed an amicus brief in the Bakke affirmative action case, filed a successful petition overturning the conviction of Fred Korematsu in the landmark Korematsu v. United States case, worked on the successful campaign to release Chol Soo Lee from prison, and were involved in efforts to release Wen Ho Lee and to unseal documents in his case. AABA supports and works with civil rights and public interest groups such as the Asian Law Caucus and the California State Bar’s Diversity Award Program. AABA strives not only to meet the professional needs of their members, but to use their resources and expertise to serve the public interest through legal clinics and other programs.
David Tsai is Co-Managing Partner of the Vinson & Elkins LLP's Taipei office and also resident in the San Francisco office. His practice focuses on patent, trade secret, complex breach of contract, and product defect litigation for companies innovating biotechnology (pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering), medical devices, software (Internet and mobile apps), and hardware (semiconductors, set-top boxes, smartphones, solar wafers and light-emitting diodes/LED/OLED). His legal experience includes defending clients in international arbitration cases, litigating in the areas of copyrights and trademarks, preparing and prosecuting U.S. electrical engineering patent applications, drafting patentability, freedom-to-operate and non-infringement opinions, as well as inter partes review (IPR) petitions. He also represents clients in patent negotiations, licensing and overall intellectual property strategy.
Mr. Tsai has been quoted in various business and technology publications including The New York Times. He has written and lectured on Hatch-Waxman/ Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigation, standard essential patents, FRAND/ RAND royalties, Internet software applications, stem cell gene therapy, and U.S. patent law.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Tsai worked in product management at Internet startups focusing on developing online collaborative communications platforms. He also previously led the product management team for a real-time PCR DNA detection product line and co-developed the first online problem sets at Stanford University.
Mr. Tsai is committed to serving pro bono clients and nonprofits. He has represented pro bono clients at settlement conferences in the Northern District Court. In addition, he has worked on civil rights and immigration pro bono matters with the Asian Law Caucus and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, including successfully representing an HIV+ transgender Mexican woman in immigration court. He also serves as a board member for a number of nonprofit organizations and institutions, including the University of California, Riverside.
Mr. Tsai has been recognized as a top 50 California Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation, and Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. In 2016, he was selected to be one of the 18 Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council (United States District Court, Northern District of California).
Mr. Tsai is fluent in spoken Taiwanese and Mandarin and represents over 30 leading Taiwan, China and Korea based companies. He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.