Craig Opperman is a partner in DLA Piper's Intellectual Property and Technology group, based in Silicon Valley.
Mr. Opperman is recognized as one of the world's leading intellectual property strategists and brings more than 25 years of legal, international corporate-executive and engineering experience to his practice. Mr. Opperman focuses on working with intellectual property as a corporate asset, in particular where that asset intersects with a company's business.
Mr. Opperman moved to Silicon Valley from South Africa in 1991 and before joining DLA Piper was a partner at Morgan Lewis and Cooley Godward and then at Reed Smith. Before Morgan Lewis, he served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Strategy of Health Hero Network.
Earlier in his career, he was Chief IP Officer of OpenTV and its controlling shareholder, Dutch-based MIH. When Mr. Opperman joined OpenTV, he became the first ever chief IP officer in any publicly traded company. Select career highlights include developing OpenTV's well-publicized patent strategy to protect its "one-click shopping" innovations, which pre-date Amazon.com's by more than three years. He also conducted the IP due diligence for MIH's investment into Chinese Internet giant, Tencent and was the architect of their initial IP strategy. At Health Hero, Mr. Opperman managed and developed a patent portfolio rated by a 2003 MIT study as one of the top 15 most cited IT patent portfolios. Other highlights include assisting Friendster in the 2010 sale of its patent portfolio to Facebook - a reported US$40 million transaction - and being the chief architect of a patent portfolio that survived two litigations and was widely licensed to generate over US$75 million for Avistar, Inc. In all, Mr. Opperman has represented patent portfolios that have generated nearly US$200 million for their owners. Most recently, he led the legal team that assisted in the US$2.38 billion valuation of approximately 1,300 Kodak patent properties.
During his career, Mr. Opperman has worked with and represented clients in a number of industries, including social media, clean tech, software, the Internet, e-commerce, interactive TV, pay-TV, IPTV, VoIP, instant messaging, video conferencing, conditional access, digital health, medical devices and semi-conductor devices and manufacturing.
Mr. Opperman is a Stanford Business School (SEP) alumnus, holds law and engineering degrees from the Universities of South Africa and Cape Town respectively and is a graduate of the South African Naval Academy. He is admitted to practice in California and South Africa and before both the US and South African Patent Offices, one of fewer than a dozen lawyers worldwide with this joint qualification. He regularly publishes and is invited to speak domestically and internationally on intellectual property issues.
Among his numerous accolades, for the past four years, Mr. Opperman has been recognized on Intellectual Asset magazine's peer-reviewed list of the World's 250 leading IP strategists.