Patent licensing company Tessera Technologies Inc. named general counsel Bernard Cassidy as the president of Tessera Intellectual Property Corp., its patent licensing and litigation division, the company announced last week.
The move puts him in charge of the company's IP business, including strategy and operations, according to a company statement. Cassidy will remain general counsel of the San Jose, Calif.-based Tessera. He is replacing Richard Chernicoff, who is "pursuing other interests" but remaining a consultant.
Cassidy joined Tessera as general counsel in 2008 after moving over from Tumbleweed Communications when that firm was acquired. He has practiced at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He did not respond to requests for comment.
There was no mention of Chernicoff's next move and he did not respond for comment. On his profile on the social networking site LinkedIn, Chernicoff still lists Tessera as his current employer. Chernicoff was previously president of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Unity Semiconductor and before that practiced at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Skadden.
PJ Harari, who heads up the in-house practice group at Major, Lindsey & Africa in Los Angeles, said Cassidy's move makes sense since litigation is an "important revenue stream" for the company.
Harari added that more people from legal departments are moving into business roles as intellectual property and regulatory work become increasingly important parts of businesses. "There is more respect for the value that legal adds, and Silicon Valley is leading the way," she said.
Tessera develops and then licenses semiconductor technology, often using litigation to defend its patents. It recently inked patent licensing deals with SK Hynix Inc., a South Korean memory chip manufacturer.