Kristen F. Johns

Kristen Johns is a transactional patent attorney in the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.  Kristen’s experience intersects privacy, security, technology, and intellectual property, and she leads the firm’s distributed ledger/blockchain practice.As a registered patent attorney, Kristen helps clients protect and maximize their intellectual property assets and advises clients on a broad range of issues, including patent and trademark strategies, data privacy and security matters, cybersecurity and cloud-related issues with a particular focus on issues related to emerging technologies.  Throughout her career, Kristen has served the following industries: 

  • Healthcare
  • Life Sciences
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Aerospace
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing

As a patent attorney who has managed intellectual property portfolios in-house, Kristen understands her clients’ intellectual property and transactional needs, and remains passionately engaged to achieve their strategic objectives. Clients praise her for her ability to stay ahead of the curve and get the job done.  

Hospital systems as well as companies involved in healthcare information technology and life sciences value the experience Kristen brings to strategic business and operational issues.  In addition to extensive experience in  trademark, copyright, and patent licensing and protection, Kristen’s insight is critically important to negotiating and structuring contractual relationships with respect to:

  • Strategic alliances and collaboration agreements
  • Intellectual property licensing and related agreements 
  • Data privacy and security rights
  • HIPAA and patient privacy
  • Compliance with regulatory standards governing protected health information, electronic health records, and medical devices
  • Software licensing
  • SaaS agreements
  • Managing IP portfolios

Before joining Waller, Kristen was General Counsel for a start-up life sciences company where she structured and negotiated numerous multi-million dollar collaboration agreements and commercial alliances in addition to managing the company’s intellectual property portfolio. More recently Kristen served as Assistant General Counsel at Emdeon (now Change Healthcare), a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle solutions. In this role she advised product development teams on a broad range of matters, including building the corporate patent program, intellectual property protection, branding and marketing, HIPAA compliance, and customer and third party vendor contracts. 

Throughout her career, Kristen has negotiated and managed the implementation of numerous license and strategic development agreements as well as other complex corporate transactions involving software and technology transfer and strategic IP asset acquisitions. She has also developed and implemented comprehensive in-house patent programs, policies, and procedures related to the data and security issues facing her healthcare clients.


  • Member, United States Patent Bar
  • Member, Tennessee Bar and Missouri Bar Associations
  • Member, Licensing Executive Society
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals

Prior Affiliations

  • Assistant General Counsel, Emdeon, Nashville, Tenn., 2012 - 2014
  • Private Practice, 2008 - 2012
  • General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Orion Genomics, LLC, St. Louis, Mo. 2002 - 2008
  • Associate, Suelthaus & Walsh, PC, St. Louis, Mo., 2000 - 2002
  • Sales and Marketing Representative, Bethlehem Steel Corp., 1995 - 1997


  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law, 2000
    • American Jurisprudence Award for Patent Law
    • Managing Editor, Saint Louis University Law Journal
  • B.S., Vanderbilt University, Engineering Science, Minor in Chemistry, Management Technology, 1995
    • Order of the Engineer

Legal Services

Industries Served

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office