Add a bookmark to get started

Mark Radcliffe

Mark F. Radcliffe

Retired Senior Counsel
Probably the best lawyer in his field.
client quoted in The Legal 500 United States

Mark Radcliffe is a Senior Counsel who practices corporate securities and intellectual property law at DLA Piper in its Silicon Valley office.

Mark’s practice focuses on representing corporations in their intellectual property and finance matters. During his career, he has represented companies in a wide range of industries from software to semiconductors to entertainment.  He is serving as one of the Co-Chairs of the Blockchain and Digital Assets practice since it was organized. He has worked on a wide range of blockchain and other web3 projects: assisting companies in structuring token sales, representing investors in financings, and many NFT issuances.  

His combination of experience in corporate transactions and intellectual property (particularly open-source licensing) make him particularly well suited to assist on blockchain and web3 issues. He has worked on over 1,000 venture transactions. Virtually all blockchain software is licensed under open-source licenses and he is one of the most experienced open source software lawyers in the world.

Clients particularly value the proactive approach he takes to understanding their needs and the strategic advice that follows.

He has worked with a number of start-ups who are using token offerings to raise capital in addition to venture financing. He was involved in the effort by the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition to enact statutes to define “utility tokens” which was successful. He represented investors in major token fund raisings, including Telegram and Libra.

He has worked on a wide range of non-fungible token transactions, assisting companies in developing terms of use for websites selling NFTs as well as "purchaser agreements" for the NFTs.  He assisted TikTok in their first NFT drop.

Bar admissionsCalifornia


  • Assisted several large companies in developing and implementing their NFT strategies
  • Assisted several blockchain startups in developing and implementing token sales as well as venture financings
  • Assisted investor in analyzing Libra governance and potential investment
  • Assisted investor in Telegram SAFT and options upon Telegram’s loss of the litigation with the SEC
  • Assisted TikTok in its first token drop, including negotiating agreements with TikTok influencers, token development platform and token sales platform 
  • Assisted token development platform in drafting development agreement, purchaser agreement and terms of use for website
  • Assisted sports team in negotiating agreement for NFTs with major consumer product company and token development company for NFT drop
  • Assisted music rights holder in developing and implementing a strategy to use NFTs to fractionalize rights to royalty payments
  • Assisted major token platform in analyzing risks of listing fifteen tokens
  • Assisting IPwe on using NFTs to represent patents and form patent consortiums to commercially exploit patents
  • Assisted the Navajo Nation in adopting a modified version of Article II of the UCC
  • Assisted Network Solutions in developing the first domain dispute resolution policy in 1994 (still used in current ICANN Dispute Resolution Policy)
  • Assisted Dr. Suess Estate in determining what words, characters and symbols to register as trademarks
  • Assisted major corporation in obtaining a license from a financially troubled company with a US$40 million prepaid royalty and ensured that the license would survive bankruptcy
  • French
  • English
  • J.D., Harvard University 1981
    1998 Distinguished Alumni Award
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Michigan 1974
    magna cum laude
  • B.S., Université Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne I 1972

    Certificate of Completion

Mark 'has a wealth of experience in the technology sector. Clients particularly value the proactive approach he takes to understanding their needs and the strategic advice that follows.' 'He is also well known for his specialist expertise on open-source matters.'
— Chambers & Partners


  • Chambers USA
    • Senior Statesperson, California Technology: Transactions (2023) 
  • Chambers FinTech
    • Band 3, FinTech Legal: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies (2023)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended, Fintech (2023)
    • Recommended, Fintech: Crypto (2023)
  • Named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers (2019)
  • Listed as a "highly recommended expert" for his transactional experience in the IAM Patent 1000, The World's Leading Patent Professionals (2018)
Leading international legal publishers consistently rank Mark among the top lawyers in his profession. Chambers USA has repeatedly recognized him as "outstanding" and "a leader in open source-related matters." Chambers & Partners has commented that Mark "has a wealth of experience in the technology sector. Clients particularly value the proactive approach he takes to understanding their needs and the strategic advice that follows." "He is also well known for his specialist expertise on open-source matters." The directory stated that Mark "draws praise from peers for his work on the other side of the table in complex outsourcing transactions," and "also has significant expertise in cutting-edge cloud services agreements." He is "hailed for his 'effectiveness in the commercial requirements of fast-moving and complex situations.'" "Sources praise his 'excellent technical knowledge and business savvy.'"
The Legal 500 United States has recommended Mark for "his experience in software matters, including open-source and cloud computing." "His expertise in providing strategic IP advice, with particular specialism in open-source matters, has won him plaudits. Indeed, one client describes him as 'probably the best lawyer in his field.'" The directory has also stated that he "has particular knowledge of cloud platforms and marketplaces" and "provides strategic IP advice and expertise in cloud computing and social media."



  • Speaker, "Non-Fungible Tokens: Understanding the Complex Legal Issues in this Revolution for Copyright Holders," Practising Law Institute
  • Chair, "The Future of Blockchain: A Silicon Valley Perspective and Beyond," Practising Law Institute 
  • Intellectual Property Owner’s Annual Conference, October, 2018, Intersection of IP and Open Source
  • Woman's Director Council, September 2018 Blockchain – Digital Ledger Technology
  • Chair, State Bar of California Intellectual Property Section Open Source Presentation
  • Investing in Open Source: Understanding the Opportunities and Managing the Challenges, SDForum
  • Garage Technology Ventures
  • Georgetown University Law Center
  • National Incubation Association
  • National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees
  • American Association of Publishers
  • Seybold San Francisco Conference
  • National Association of Broadcasters' Multimedia World
  • Game Developers' Workshop
  • Internet World
  • American Society of Magazine Editors

Civic and Charitable

  • Computer Law Association, former Board of Directors
  • Journal of Internet Law, Editor in Chief
  • BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, Advisory Board
  • Computer Lawyer, Editorial Board
  • Cyberspace Lawyer, Editorial Board
  • Electronic Commerce and Law Report, Advisory Board
  • Global Intellectual Property Asset Management Report, Advisory Board
  • General Counsel, Open Source Initiative

Memberships And Affiliations

  • International Trademark Association
  • South Bay Trademark Lawyer's Association, Founder
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, former Chairman of the Computer Law Section
  • American Bar Association