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Title:  Director, Legal


Sunnyvale, CA, US, 94089

Requisition ID:  27895

Job Summary

NetApp is seeking a Director of Intellectual Property to join our award winning legal department. We are at a pivotal time in NetApp’s technology journey, and the successful candidate will be a highly qualified and pioneering legal executive capable of guiding the business through an innovation transformation as the Company develops its next generation data center and Cloud offerings. At a significant moment in the company’s history, the successful candidate will have an opportunity to be embedded in the Company’s business units and influence the Company’s strategy and results.


This position reports directly to the Vice President, Corporate, Compliance, Employment and IP, and will work closely with the Company’s senior leadership in the following areas: developing NetApp’s worldwide IP portfolio, IP licensing, IP risk mitigation, industry standards development strategy, offensive / defensive IP assertion projects and other IP related projects. 


The successful candidate will be responsible for advising senior leadership on “all things IP”: the development and protection of the Company’s intellectual assets and “crown jewels” that drive the Company’s profits; management of both strategic and NPE disputes; and external communities and ecosystems (trade associations, PTO relations, and common interest organizations). The selected candidate will also work collaboratively with outside counsel and lead an internal team of IP attorneys supporting a global technical and engineering community responsible for creating a broad technology portfolio that enables customers to change the world with data.


NetApp has long been recognized as an industry leader in innovation and corporate culture.  This is an extraordinary opportunity for a dynamic legal professional to join us. 

Job Requirements

  • Developing IP portfolio, including assuring quality and establishing strategies for portfolio optimization in line with company objectives
  • Advising on, and collaborating with, our global technical community and senior leadership (located in multiple domestic and international tech centers) on intellectual property matters relating to the development of software and services, including open source compliance and contributions
  • Developing and coaching internal team of IP attorneys
  • Managing outside IP counsel, litigation and disputes

Advising on complex IP matters in transactions and licensing, M&A and JVs



  • Strong software, hardware, and services experience; cloud, PaaS/SaaS/IaaS experience desired
  • Strategic, creative, practical and open-minded thinker with excellent business judgment with a focus on business outcomes
  • Ability to counsel colleagues and execute on portfolio development and strategy
  • Detailed knowledge and hands-on experience in patent litigation and patent prosecution
  • Ability to manage litigation and patent prosecution counsel to meet NetApp's invention capture and other patent-related processes and policies
  • Strong leadership, management, interpersonal and people skills
  • Ability to thrive in a high performance, fast-paced environment and to multi-task
  • Ability to prioritize effectively and execute quickly
  • Excellent problem solving and organizational skills


  • Admission to a state bar and USPTO
  • A minimum of 12 years of industry and/or law firm experience
  • Software and services licensing expertise
  • Open Source Software expertise
  • IP litigation and IP enforcement experience
  • Prior in-house experience preferred
  • Experience in developing and managing an extensive patent portfolio
  • JD and undergraduate degree in electrical engineering or computer science preferred


Nearest Major Market: San Jose
Nearest Secondary Market: Palo Alto

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