Justin Watts, PhD


Watts, Justin

Justin Watts is an experienced patent litigator who has an established and well-regarded intellectual property practice. Clients rely on his industry knowledge and years of experience to handle their complex, multinational disputes. Dr. Watts represents a variety of clients, with an emphasis on those in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, biotechnology, communications, and hardware and software industries, in disputes involving standards, competition law and patents.

Dr. Watts' experience envelops the full range of IP litigation. His far-reaching capabilities allow him to advise clients on transactional work, specifically in the technology, media and communications sectors.

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Dr. Watts was a partner in the global IP/IT practice of another international law firm.

Dr. Watts is a qualified lawyer and chartered engineer, and holds a PhD in optoelectronics from the University of Cambridge. Before beginning his legal career, Dr. Watts worked in satellite communications engineering, with clients appreciating his technical knowledge alongside his rational and strategic approach.

Representative Matters

Over the years, Dr. Watts has represented a variety of clients, including BMS, HP, a major mobile phone company, Abbott, Philips, Sony Computer Entertainment, Thomson Multimedia and Texas Instruments. His matters have included:

  • representing BMS across 7 jurisdictions in asserting a patent infringement claim over immune system treatments for cancer;
  • representing HP in the UK and Ireland defending a patent infringement claim over page-wide printing;
  • representing Johnson & Johnson across 11 jurisdictions in defending a patent infringement claim over its silicone hydrogel contact lenses;
  • advising Schlumberger in an international patent dispute over electromagnetic oil prospecting techniques; and
  • handling major multi-jurisdiction litigation for clients in the mobile phone industry.

Honors & Awards

  • Consistently ranked by Chambers UK in the category of Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation with sources saying he has "extremely good judgment," "'great leadership' and commercial acuity” and is “known for his 'sound judgement and ability to generate ideas at precisely the right time'”
  • Regularly named as a leading individual by The Legal 500 United Kingdom in the Intellectual Property category and “is singled out for his 'vast experience in patent litigation'”

Publications & News


May 17, 2018

WilmerHale Partners and Practices Named Among Managing Intellectual Property's 2018 IP Stars

Managing Intellectual Property's 2018 IP Stars Handbook recognizes WilmerHale and 19 of its partners as leaders in the field. IP Stars identifies lawyers based on their knowledge, outcomes achieved for clients and unique strengths in the given practice area.

April 27, 2018

The UK Ratifies the UPC Agreement

On Thursday, April 26, the UK Government announced that it had ratified the UPC Agreement.  For the UPC and the EU unitary patent to commence, at least thirteen countries, including the UK, France and Germany, must have ratified the UPC Agreement.

April 27, 2018

United Kingdom Chapter 7.1

WilmerHale Partner Justin Watts edited this chapter, appearing in the book International Licencing and Technology Transfer, Supplement 20, published by S4Carlisle Publishing Services.

March 16, 2018

WilmerHale Recognized for Outstanding International Lawyers and Practices in Chambers Global 2018

In the 2018 edition of Chambers Global, 33 WilmerHale lawyers were named among “The World's Leading Lawyers for Business."

December 4, 2017

EU Commission Publishes Major IP Package: Guidance Given on the EU Approach to SEPs and on the EU IP Enforcement Directive

Last week, the EU Commission published a number of important documents on IP. The documents include (i) a communication paper “Setting out the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents,” and (ii) a communication paper giving “Guidance on certain aspects of Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the enforcement of intellectual property rights.”

November 3, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers, Practices Recognized for Outstanding Work and Reputation by Chambers UK 2018

Chambers UK: A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession 2018 ranked six WilmerHale lawyers and five practices for outstanding work and reputation.

October 12, 2017

The Legal 500 UK Recognizes WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2017 Edition

In the 2017 edition of The Legal 500 UK, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for dispute resolution - international arbitration and crime, fraud and licensing - fraud: white-collar crime, and is recommended in four other practice areas. The guide also names five partners to its "Leading lawyers" list, and recognizes a total of 11 of the firm's London-based lawyers.

July 14, 2017

Actavis v. Eli Lilly1: Back to the Future—The UK Supreme Court Changes the Test for Patent Infringement

The UK Supreme Court rarely hears patent cases, and will only hear cases that it considers to be fundamentally important. The court's July 12 judgment is most significant for changing the test for infringement in the United Kingdom, widening the scope for infringement by equivalence.

June 27, 2017

Partners Justin Watts and Matthew Shade Bolster WilmerHale's IP Litigation Practice in London

Justin Watts, PhD, and Matthew Shade, PhD, have joined the firm as partners in its London office, strengthening WilmerHale's position as a firm of choice for complex patent litigation in the United Kingdom and for clients seeking an effective global strategy for their intellectual property disputes.


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Diploma, Intellectual Property Law and Practice, with commendation, University of Bristol

PhD, Optoelectronics, University of Cambridge, David Gottleib Prize for Law

BA, Electrical Sciences, University of Cambridge

Bar Admissions

England and Wales, Solicitor

Ireland, Solicitor

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