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Richard Henry Abramson

Richard  Abramson
Lecturer, Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
Lecturer in Management
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Research Statement

Mr. Abramson spent the last 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 start-up companies. Having left SRI in April, 2015, he now focuses his consulting practice on working with scientific research institutes and universities to develop and iterate value propositions for the commercialization of government-funded technologies, and on the creation of strategies for moving such technologies to the market. 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 competitive and business 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, Mr. 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 1984-1991, Mr. 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 1982-84, Mr. Abramson was a litigation associate at the San Francisco law firm of Jacobs, Sills and Coblentz.

Mr. Abramson served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California/Berkeley from 1999-2001, 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, 2015-16
  • 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

Courses Taught

Degree Courses


At the beginning and usually at the heart of every new business is an idea. Around that core idea talent is assembled, technology is developed, investors are attracted, capital is deployed, business models are evolved, and products and services...

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

School News

October 6, 2015
New faculty and lecturers offer unique perspectives and experience to augment program offerings.