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Richard W. Horton


Richard Horton is an experienced, dual-qualified US and Australian corporate and technology lawyer, advising clients in the US (in particular Silicon Valley), Australia and the Asia Pacific region. He is recognized by many as Australia’s leading venture capital and technology lawyer, having spent well over a decade working in Silicon Valley.

Richard works primarily with emerging growth and later stage tech companies in a variety of industries, including digital media, internet, music, software, computer hardware, semiconductor 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
  • Renewable energy development projects

Richard has extensive experience helping US and Australian venture funds and technology companies doing business in Australia, the US and across the Pacific. He has been involved in numerous M&A and venture financing transactions in both the US and Australia, and has negotiated many complex intellectual property and technology development, 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.

Before joining Squire Sanders, 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

  • Startmate
  • muru-D (Telstra Corporation accelerator)
  • Ignition Labs

Blackbird Ventures

Boeing Energy, Inc. (renewable energy technologies)

Brisbane Materials Pty Ltd (thin materials sciences)

Dejai (Telematics software and hardware)

Lifi Labs, Inc. (wireless LED; set Kickstarter record)

Moser Baer India Limited (data storage)National ICT Australia (NICTA)

Ninja Blocks, Inc. (internet of things)

OtherLevels, Inc.

Precise Light Surgical Pty Limited (surgical laser)

Scatec (Scandinavian renewable energy)

Script Rock, Inc. (cloud-based configuration management)

Southern Cross Venture Partners

Telstra Ventures

Telstra Corporation

TubeMogul, Inc.

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 Southern Cross and Softbank China (Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund) and manufacturing and licensing transactions.
  • Bugcrowd.: negotiate convertible note financing.
  • Edwards Lifesciences: cardiovascular surgical device cross-licensing, R&D, manufacturing and distribution biotechnology joint venture with CardioFocus.
  • Grabble: acquisition by Walmart.
  • Hewlett-Packard: "future of digital printing" US$100 million equity investment and strategic technology cross licensing, development, manufacturing and distribution joint venture with Israeli NASDAQ listed digital offset printing specialist, Indigo.
  • MphasiS Limited: Acquisition of Fortify Software, Inc.
  • Moser Baer India Limited: negotiate complex patent pool licensing transactions with 3C consortium (Philips, Sony et al) and 6C consortium (Hitachi, JVC et al).
  • Merkle, Inc.: Acquisition of Fifth Finger.
  • Moser Baer PhotoVoltaic Limited: negotiate various rounds of venture investments in SolFocus, Inc., Stion, Inc., Skyline Solar, Inc. and Solaria Corporation and US$60 million acquisition of Applied Materials thin film solar fabrication plant.
  • Moser Baer India Limited: acquisition of KMG Media Group Inc.
  • OtherLevels, Inc.: strategic partnership and licensing transactions with Halfbrick Studios.
  • OptoAtmospherics Inc.: negotiate complex licensing agreement with Michigan Aerospace.
  • Playboy Enterprises Inc.: 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).
  • negotiate numerous licensing and customer agreements.
  • 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).
  • Westinghouse Solar: panel development, manufacturing, distribution and supply licenses with Kyocera, SunTech and Morgan Stanley Solar Solutions.
  • 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
  • Society for Computers and the Law

  • “Negotiating Venture Financing Transactions,” Squire Sanders Venture Capital Seminar Series, February 2014.
  • “Intellectual Property Issues for Startups and Later Stage Technology Companies,” Squire Sanders Venture Capital Seminar Series, May 2014.
  • 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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    The University of Sydney, LL.B., 1990
    University of New South Wales, B.Comm., 1990
    University of New South Wales, LL.B., 1990


    New South Wales

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