Julie M. Watson concentrates on counseling related to intellectual property transactions with a particular emphasis in technology startups and university technology transfer. A licensing professional with over 25 years of experience structuring complex intellectual property transactions in-house, Ms. Watson has a deep appreciation of client needs and knows how to deliver strategic solutions.

Julie has been recognized as one of the “World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.

Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) Julie Watson

Representative Experience

  • Developing deal strategies and leading negotiations for both in-licensing and out-licensing transactions for biopharma and university clients.
  • Managing high-profile university out-licensing portfolios, including invention evaluations and strategy development, identifying potential targets and negotiating intellectual property agreements.
  • Advising, drafting IP agreements, and performing due diligence for corporate acquisitions based on technology assets developed under the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases Program.
  • Counseling on intellectual property policies, related revenue-sharing agreements, consulting agreements, invention disclosure forms and compliance with non-profit grant funding.
  • Structuring and leading the transaction team for contracts and extensive portfolio of subcontracts under Department of Defense funded programs.
  • Developing proforma confidentiality, material transfer and research agreements for university clients; developing a portfolio of service and IP contracts for clinical translation program.

Background and Credentials

Prior to joining Marshall Gerstein as special counsel, Julie was Director of Intellectual Property and Legal Counsel at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine; the Director of Intellectual Property Services at the American Medical Association; and a client of Marshall Gerstein while Vice President of the Advanced Research & Technology Institute, the technology transfer arm of Indiana University.

Julie holds a J.D., cum laude, from Wake Forest University Law School and is admitted to practice law in Illinois, North Carolina, and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She also holds an MA in biopsychology from Johns Hopkins University and completed advanced graduate work in neuroscience at Northwestern University. She is a Certified Licensing Professional™ (CLP), a credential issued by the Licensing Executives Society (LES) (USA and Canada), Inc. to recognize licensing professionals who are committed to professional development and the attainment of the skills and knowledge necessary to perform at the highest level of quality.

*The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the CLP™ certification is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.


  • Wake Forest University School of Law (J.D., cum laude)
  • Johns Hopkins University (M.A., NIH Training Grant, Johns Hopkins Fellowship)
    • Biopsychology
  • Coe College (B.A., magna cum laude)
    • Psychology, Biology

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • North Carolina

Publications and Presentations

Julie is an active participant in professional licensing organizations, including the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and frequent author and presenter at national meetings on intellectual property transactions.

Recent examples include:

  • "Patent & Licensing Strategy," Research Triangle Area Chapter - Association of Corporate Counsel Lunch & Learn, Raleigh, NC, October 16, 2019.
  • "Functional Framework of a License," AUTM 2019 Essentials Course, Oak Brook, IL, September 9, 2019.
  • "State University Patents Are Not Immune from Inter Partes Review," Marshall Gerstein Alert, June 17, 2019.
  • “Negotiation of IP Licenses,” LES University North, Chicago, IL, September 24, 2018.
  • “Boost Your Success with Better Negotiation Skills,” Women In Bio–Chicago, Chicago, IL, June 28, 2018.

Click here to see additional Publications and Presentations.

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