Trent Dykes

Mark Radcliffe

Partner, Silicon Valley

mark.radcliffe@dlapiper.comT +1 650 833 2266F +1 650 687 1222

I have been working in Silicon Valley for over 30 years with a wide range of startups and large companies. My path to being a lawyer wasn't a traditional one. I was trained as a chemist at the University of Michigan and thought I was headed to medical school. While I was performing my duty in the United States Navy as the gunnery officer of a destroyer, I was asked to take on the additional duty of being the legal officer on the ship. I enjoyed my work as a legal officer so much that I ditched my plans for medical school and instead went to law school. Though I started off as a corporate lawyer, the common thread in my practice, and what keeps me coming to work each day, is working with new technologies and new business models.

My team and I generally work with about 50 startups at a time, assisting them on both financing and intellectual property transactions. And I work with investors, from traditional venture capital firms to corporate venture capital arms; in my spare time I also run the Global Corporate Venture Capital practice at DLA Piper. My intellectual property experience frequently includes dealing with new issues for the tech industry. During the 1980s, I helped develop the legal approach to the licensing of software at the beginning of the independent software industry. During the 1990s, I developed the domain dispute resolution policy for Network Solutions, Inc., and this policy continues to be the basis for domain dispute resolution policy currently in use by ICANN. I have also been involved since 2001 in assisting in the development of the open source software industry. I am general counsel on a pro bono basis of the Open Source Initiative and served on the legal committee of the Apache Software Foundation. I assisted Sun Microsystems, Inc. in open sourcing the Solaris operating system and ran one of the four committees in the revision of the General Public License version 2 to General Public License version 3. I have worked with companies in a wide variety of industries, including Internet, software (particularly open source), Internet of Things, cloud, hardware and semiconductors. I am now focusing on blockchain and Internet of Things technologies.

When I am at home, I enjoy cycling around Northern California and drinking Pinot Noir from Sonoma (I even made my own Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which was fun but not very lucrative). I have enjoy drinking tea, particularly green tea from China. Since technology is a global industry, I frequently travel both domestically and overseas. When I travel, I try to make time to enjoy cycling in the cities I visit and have cycled in Berlin, Paris, London, Barcelona, New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Tokyo, Kyoto and Hong Kong. I also enjoy visiting the local tea houses and tasting local wines.

Related Articles