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Representing the Games Industry Client 2014

 
Author(s): Dan Offner, Jim Charne
Practice Area: Intellectual Property, Privacy & Cybersecurity
Published: Oct 2014
PLI Item #: 50556
CHB Spine #: G1199

Jim Charne is a Wisconsin, California, New York, and New Jersey lawyer, whose practice is at the intersection of intellectual property, entertainment, technology, music, and commerce.  His experience in software, video games, and other technology-based entertainment extends back to the earliest days of the category.  He began his career in the 1970’s, in those pre-computer days of dial telephones, tabulators, and AM top 40 radio, at CBS Records and Arista Records, both in New York.

Jim was the first President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (interactive.org).  He has been recognized as a "Most Valuable Player" by the International Game Developers Association (igda.org), is the recipient of three awards from the Game Audio Network Guild (audiogang.org) for work on behalf of games industry composers; organized and led all-day legal and business tutorial programs 15 times at the annual Game Developers Conference (gdconf.com); and served as liaison between the Interactive Academy and IDGA, and Washington counsel, in drafting an amicus brief filed on behalf of games industry talent in Brown v ESA (564 U.S. 786 (2011)).  In Brown, the Court, in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Scalia, recognized video games for the first time to be fully protected First Amendment expression on equal footing with literature, dramatic productions, motion pictures, and other creative works.

Jim is a regular speaker on interactive entertainment topics at Practicing Law Institute's (pli.org) March entertainment law program in New York, and is a professional responsibility co-presenter at the Videogame Bar Association's (vgba.org) annual May summit in Los Angeles at UCLA Law School.

In late 2015, Jim joined Gerard Fox Law, with offices in Los Angeles and New York City as Of Counsel.  He maintains his solo practice in Madison, WI and can always be reached at charne@sprintmail.com, or by Skype at jimcharne.


Dan Offner has 25 years of experience as a lawyer and entrepreneur.  He has been an outside general counsel and deal lawyer for small, medium, and large companies in the technology and interactive entertainment industries.  He has done hundreds of M&A deals, incorporations, financings, technology, and content deals, and has and has built and led numerous legal departments and deal teams for domestic and international clients.  He is also an active angel investor and board member who appreciates the challenges of being an entrepreneur and a businessman.

Dan began his legal career working as a lawyer for his father, Elliot Offner, an artist, sculptor, printmaker and typographer (www.elliotoffner.com). 

He then worked for the outside general counsel’s office for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Eric Carle (the author and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) before starting Offner & Anderson, P.C. in 1995, which he built into the largest interactive entertainment law firm in the industry before its acquisition by Nixon Peabody in 2006.

In the interactive entertainment industry, Dan represented THQ, Ubisoft, Konami, sciEidos, Sony Computer Entertainment, Warner Music, Gameloft, Emergent Game Technologies and Trion as well as private equity firms and other investors active in the videogame space.  From 1995 to 2012, Dan did some of the major transactions for his clients, such as Ubisoft’s acquisition of Redstorm (the Tom Clancy games) and The Learning Company Entertainment Assets, which included Myst and Prince of Persia, Trion’s deal with the SciFi Channel for a game that was both a tv show and a massively multiplayer online game, and the purchase of Harmonix by the private equity group Columbus Nova.

Following the merger of Offner & Anderson with Nixon Peabody, Dan took up the position of capital partner and Deputy Practice Group Leader of Nixon Peabody’s Venture Practice Group, and then Practice Group Leader of its IP Transactions Group.  In 2010, he was recruited by Loeb & Loeb LLP to head Loeb’s interactive entertainment practice.

Dan left the partnership at Loeb in 2012 to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams and goals.

Shortly after leaving Loeb at the end of 2012, Dan began working with Oculus VR, Inc. in 2013, and quickly became Oculus’ sole outside general counsel through the closing of the Facebook Oculus transaction at the end of July in 2014.   He has founded his law firm O&A, P.C.  (www.oandapc.com) and an angel investment firm  (www.blue-heron-ventures.com) to provide to other startups the services and help that he provided to Oculus as its outside general counsel and angel investor.