Richard Henry Abramson

Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
+1 (650) 269-7031

Richard Henry Abramson

Lecturer in Management

Academic Area:

Teaching Statement

Richard Abramson spent 14 years as VP of Legal and Business Affairs at SRI International, where he was deeply involved in developing numerous significant licensing programs and in the creation and incubation of more than a dozen venture-funded startup companies. He left SRI in 2015 and, in addition to teaching at Stanford GSB, has written a novel centering around the incomparable Lord Byron. At Stanford, his focus is on helping students to understand how competitive advantage can be created and maintained both through the creative use of intellectual property and through strategically agile licensing models.


From 2001 to 2015, Richard Abramson served as vice president of legal and business affairs and general counsel of SRI International in Menlo Park, California. In that capacity he managed all of SRI’s legal and intellectual property functions, the office of Corporate Secretary, and other duties in support of SRI’s research, development, and commercialization activities.

Prior to joining SRI in 2001, Abramson was senior director of litigation and intellectual property for Immersion Corporation in San Jose. From 1991 to 1999, he was a partner in Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group in Palo Alto, California. From 1984 to 1991, Abramson was a litigation associate and partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Irell & Manella, where he also specialized in technology-based intellectual property litigation. From 1982 to 84, Abramson was a litigation associate at the San Francisco law firm of Jacobs, Sills and Coblentz.

Abramson served as an adjunct professor of law at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California/Berkeley from 1999 to 2001, where he taught a course in patent litigation. Since 1998, he has also served as a court-appointed mediator for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Academic Degrees

  • Executive Education, Strategic Planning and Organization, Stanford GSB, 2012
  • JD, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 1981
  • BA, Claremont McKenna College, 1978

Academic Appointments

  • Lecturer, Stanford GSB, 2015-present
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of California/Berkeley Law School, 1998 – 2001

Professional Experience

  • VP of Legal & Business Affairs and General Counsel, SRI International, 2001-2015
  • Director of IP and Litigation, Immersion Corporation, 1999-2001
  • Litigation Partner, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, 1991-1999
  • Litigation Associate/Partner, Irell & Manella, 1985-1990
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. William H Orrick, United States District Court, 1981-1982

Service to the Profession

  • Mediator, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1998-present
  • Member, Bay Area Science and Infrastructure Consortium, Task Force on University-Industry Collaboration, 2005 - 2008

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