The Legal 500 Asia Pacific

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Richard W. Horton

Partner

Richard Horton is an experienced, dual-qualified US and Australian corporate and technology lawyer, advising clients in both the US (in particular Silicon Valley) and Australia. He is a member of the firm’s US and Australian venture capital and intellectual property and technology practice groups, and is the chair of those groups in Australia.

Richard works primarily with emerging growth and later stage tech companies in a variety of industries, including digital media, Internet, music, software, computer hardware, semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, medical devices, biotechnology and clean energy technologies. Richard concentrates on: 
  • Tech-sector venture capital and strategic financings 
  • Tech-sector M&A transactions 
  • Strategic intellectual property advice (including complex IP and technology development and licensing transactions, patent licensing, patent pools and pre-infringement patent counselling) 
  • International manufacturing and distribution transactions 
  • Crowdfunding (in particular Kickstarter) 
  • Renewable energy development projects

Richard has deep experience helping Australian venture funds and technology companies doing business in the US and regularly works with US and offshore multinationals doing US and Australian law deals in Australia. He has been involved in some of Silicon Valley’s largest M&A transactions and has negotiated numerous venture financing transactions in both the US and Australia. He has also negotiated a broad range of complex intellectual property and technology development and licensing and manufacturing transactions.

Richard speaks regularly to incubators, research institutes, universities, industry bodies and government groups on US and Australian venture financing, IP strategy and licensing, renewable energy, and general corporate and commercial law topics. He is also regularly engaged by the media to discuss issues relating to the burgeoning Australian startup scene and crowdfunding (in particular Kickstarter).

Before joining Squire Patton Boggs, Richard was a senior associate in the Sydney office of a global law firm (spending 12 months on secondment at Telstra Corporation). In late 1999 he moved to the US where he spent five years in the Silicon Valley office of a US-based global law firm, three years as a partner in the San Francisco office of a large Australia-based international corporate law firm and six years as a partner in the Silicon Valley (Palo Alto) office of a large multinational law firm.

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS

Accelerators/Incubators: 
  • Startmate 
  • muru-D (Telstra Corporation accelerator) 
  • AWI Ventures 
  • Ignition Labs 
  • Pushstart 
  • AQT Solar, Inc. (thin film (CIGS) solar) 
  • Blackbird Ventures 
  • Boeing Energy, Inc. (renewable energy technologies) 
  • BrightTag, Inc. 
  • Brisbane Materials Holdings, Inc (thin materials sciences) 
  • Bugcrowd, Inc. (crowdsourced bug-fixing) 
  • Carbon Energy Limited (underground coal gasification (UCG)) 
  • Dejai (Telematics software and hardware) 
  • Grabble (point of sale e-receipt generation) 
  • LanzaTech Limited (biofuels) 
  • Lifi Labs, Inc. (wireless LED; set Kickstarter record) 
  • Moser Baer India Limited (data storage) 
  • Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic Limited (photovoltaics manufacturer) 
  • National ICT Australia (NICTA) 
  • Ninja Blocks, Inc. (internet of things) 
  • OptoAtmospherics (wind laser tech spint-out of Michigan Aerospace) 
  • Precise Light Surgical Pty Limited (surgical laser) 
  • Pythagoras Solar, Inc. (building integrated photovoltaics) 
  • Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund
  • Qualtrics, Inc. 
  • Scatec (Scandinavian renewable energy) 
  • Script Rock, Inc. (cloud-based configuration management) 
  • Southern Cross Venture Partners 
  • Square Peg Capital 
  • SunEdison, Inc. (utility scale solar) 
  • Telstra Ventures 
  • Zookal (Asia-Pacific text book rental)


Representative Experience

  • AQT Solar: Series A-C venture financings, and numerous bridge and convertible note financings; clean energy technology development and licensing transactions. 
  • Blackbird Ventures: venture investment in Shoes of Prey. 
  • Brisbane Materials: venture financing with renewable energy venture capital fund; manufacturing and licensing transactions. 
  • Bugcrowd: negotiate convertible note financing. 
  • Grabble: acquisition by Walmart. 
  • Moser Baer India Limited: negotiate complex patent pool licensing transactions with Philips, Hitachi, JVC. 
  • Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic Limited: negotiate various rounds of venture investments in SolFocus, Stion, Skyline Solar, Solaria. 
  • Moser Baer India Limited: acquisition of Kodak Digital Media Group. 
  • Playboy Enterprises: international broadcast management platform licensing deal with Pilat Media for Playboy TV and video. 
  • Precise Light Surgical: Series A investment from Southern Cross Venture Partners and Softbank China (IIF). 
  • Scatec Solar: sale of various solar project and renewable energy assets in California, Utah and Hawaii. 
  • Southern Cross Venture Partners and Softbank China (IIF) venture investment in Big Tin Can Pty Ltd. 
  • SunEdison: acquisition of numerous solar projects in California. 
  • Telstra Ventures:
    • Series D investment in Kony Solutions, Inc. (US$18.3 million); 
    • Series E investment in Ooyala, Inc. (US$35 million); 
    • Series F investment in Ooyala, Inc. (US$43 million); 
    • Series E-1 investment in Box, Inc. (co-investment in total US$100 million round).
  • Yahoo! acquisition of MusicMatch, Inc. and Hotjobs, Inc. 
  • Zookal: Convertible note financing. 
  • Startmate: numerous Series Seed financings with portfolio companies.

MEMBERSHIPS AND MENTORSHIPS
  • Mentor, StartMate, muru-D, Commercialization Australia, Pushstart, Ignition Labs, River City Labs, iLab 
  • US National Venture Capital Association 
  • AVCAL (Australian Venture Capital Association Limited) 
  • Licensing Executives Society (Australia, US and Canada) 
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association 
  • Secretary, Society of the Computers and Law Society

PUBLICATIONS & SEMINARS
  • Squire Patton Boggs Venture Capital 2014 Seminar Series: 
    •  “Convertible Note Financings;” 
    • “Incentivizing Employees – Understanding Options for Options and Other Forms of Equity-based Compensation;” 
    • “Making the Move to Silicon Valley: When to Flip, and Why;” 
    • “Intellectual Property Issues for Startups and Later Stage Technology Companies;” 
    • “Negotiating Venture Financing Transactions.”
  • Squire Sanders Intellectual Property and Technology Transactions 2014 Seminar Series:
    • “IP Allocation Mechanisms in Complex Corporate Transactions;” 
    • “IP Strategy and Licensing Transactions;” 
    • “Patent Licensing and Pre-Infringement Counselling;” 
    • “IP issues in Technology M&A Transactions.”
  • “Founders, Financings and IP Strategy,” NICTA, Sydney, Australia, August 2013. 
  • “Making the Pilgrimage to Silicon Valley: To Flip or Not to Flip,” River City Labs, Brisbane, Australia, March 7, 2013. 
  • “Intellectual Property and Licensing Strategy for Emerging and Later Stage Technology Companies,” New South Wales Young Lawyers Society, Sydney, Australia, February 2013. 
  • “Financings, Founders and IP Strategy for Australian Startups Moving to Silicon Valley,” River City Labs, Brisbane, Australia, June 2012. 
  • “Meet the Founders Series” (US and Australian Venture Financings), NICTA, Melbourne University, May 31, 2012. 
  • “US Venture Financings, Founders and IP Strategy,” Fishburners/Pushstart, May 2012. 
  • “Drafting and Negotiating Commercial and Utility-Scale Solar Power Purchase Agreements,” Licensing Executives Society, Silicon Valley Chapter, February 24, 2010. 
  • “Venture Financing Transactions in Silicon Valley,” Santa Clara Law School, Santa Clara, California, April 13, 2009. 
  • “The Future of the Solar Industry – What is Next?,” Licensing Executives Society of Silicon Valley, June 19, 2008. 
  • “Complex International Patent Licensing and Litigation Strategies,” CSIRO Annual Legal Retreat, Canberra Australia, April 2007. 
  • “Issues in IP Enforcement and Licensing in China,” Licensing Executives Society, Townsend, Townsend & Crew, Palo Alto, June 28, 2006. 
  • “IP Enforcement and Licensing in China,” Licensing Executives Society, NASA Space Center, California, November 30, 2005. 
  • “IP Strategy for Australian Technology Start-ups in Silicon Valley,” Anzatech Network Annual Conference, Palo Alto, California, November 14, 2005. 
  • “US and International Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing and Outsourcing Transactions,” Computer Law Association Cyberlaw Camp, Bangalore, India, October 2005. 
  • “Intellectual Property Strategy and Licensing for Australian companies entering the United States - The Silicon Valley Experience,” Australian-American Chamber of Commerce, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, June 2005. 
  • “Doing Business in China – IP Exploitation and Enforcement Strategies,” IP Society, San Francisco, California, April 21, 2005. 
  • “Domestic and Cross-border Outsourcing,” Licensing Executives Society, Palo Alto, California, June 2004. 
  • “IP and Technology Issues in Tech Sector M&A and Corporate Financing Transactions” and “Drafting and Negotiating IP and Technology Aspects of M&A and Corporate Finance Agreements,” IP Society, Palo Alto, California, April 2004. 
  • “Enforceability of Click-wrap and Browse-wrap Agreements in the United States,” Computer Law Association Annual General Conference, Washington, DC, May 2004. 
  • “Complex Licensing Structures in Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint Ventures and Outsourcing,” Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, Boalt School of Law, Berkeley, California, March 2004. 
  • “Open Source Software - the Dos and Don'ts,” moderated, Computer Law Association, Palo Alto, California, February 2004. 
  • “IP Allocation Mechanisms in Joint Ventures, Spin-Offs, Divestitures and Outsourcing,” Licensing Executives Society, Palo Alto, California, June 2003. 
  • “Intellectual Property Law in the United States: An In-Depth look at US Patent, Trade Secret, Copyright and Trademark Laws,” US Federal Government Office of Business Administration, San Francisco, California, April 2003. 
  • “Intellectual Property Issues in Bankruptcies – The Impact of S.365 of the Bankruptcy Code and the Fraudulent Transfer laws on IP Licenses,” Practicing Law Institute, San Francisco, California, May 2002. 
  • “Patent Strategy and Complex Technology Transactions in Silicon Valley,” Licensing Executives Society and Computers and Law Society, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Australia, August 2002.

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Palo Alto
T +1 650 843 3313
O +61 2 8248 7806

Sydney
T+61 2 8248 7888

Education

The University of Sydney, LL.B., 1990
University of New South Wales, B.Comm., 1990
University of New South Wales, LL.B., 1990

Admissions

California
New South Wales

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