Karcher Harmes

Best Lawyers®
"Lawyer of the Year" Award
Appellate Law, San Diego,
2017 and 2024

Resume – Jeff Harmes

Areas of Practice


Jeff Harmes concentrates his practice in business law, including commercialization of intellectual property, distribution and procurement contracts, business alliances, outsourcing, and privacy.


Professional Experience and Honors

  • Principal of Karcher Harmes PS (2010 –Present)
  • Partner, KL Gates and predecessor Preston Gates & Ellis (2006 – 2010)
  • Chair, Licensing and Electronic Transactions Group, KL Gates/ Preston Gates & Ellis (2006 – 2009)
  • Partner, DLA Piper/Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (2000 – 2006)
  • Managing Partner, Seattle office, DLA Piper and predecessor Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (2001 – 2006)
  • Partner, Tonkin Torp LLP (1988 – 2000) and Chair, Business Transactions Practice Group
  • The Best Lawyers in America – (2015)
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Technology Law (2015)


Representative Experience

  • Negotiated and drafted settlement agreement between two major technology companies involving multi-million dollar cash consideration and cross licensing and distribution of electronic games.
  • Acted as lead counsel representing buyer in purchase of two pharmaceutical product lines from major drug company.
  • Currently represents large public university in connection with a variety of technology transfer transactions.
  • Represented major wireless communications company in significant logistics outsourcing project.
  • Acted as lead counsel in connection with the sale of innovative food processing technology.
  • Represented major motion picture company in formation of joint venture for development and publication of digital games.
  • Served as primary licensing counsel for major electronic game company. Designed and prepared standard game development and distribution agreement forms and negotiated and documented numerous contracts and strategic relationships.
  • Served as primary licensing counsel for several significant business software companies. Developed and distributed sets of annotated contracts and helped develop and administer contract management systems.
  • Represented licensee in complex license agreement procuring rights to comic book characters for use in electronic games for wireless devices.
  • Assisted client with design and implementation of agreements for distribution of music on wireless devices, including digital rights management implementation and rights clearance strategies.
  • Represented major digital content provider in connection with software development outsourcing project in India.
  • Represented medical device company in acquiring patent licenses from University of Washington and purchase of ancillary third party patent rights.
  • Drafted and negotiated agreement for sale of pharmaceutical patent rights to University of California.
  • Represented fuel cell developer in negotiation and drafting of patent license agreements and technology development collaboration.



Professional/Civic Activities

  • Board Member, Bainbridge Island Public Television (2008 – 2010)
  • Board Member, University of Washington’s Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology (2001 to 2008)
  • Instructor, Technology Commercialization Program, University of Washington Department of Bioengineering (2003)


Speaking Engagements

  • “How to Streamline Licensing with Non-Profit Institutions,” Licensing Executives Society Seattle Chapter Speaker’s Series (November 22, 2010)
  • “Technology Transfer-Licensing Intellectual Property from Universities,” Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Association (September 25, 2009)
  • “Technology Transfer-Licensing Intellectual Property from Universities,” Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Association (September 25, 2009)
  • “Technology Transfer – Licensing Intellectual Property from Universities,” Carolina Patent Trademark & Copyright Law Association 2009 Fall Meeting
  • “Handling Unique Issues That Arise Out of Improvements Made on Licensed and Collaboration Technology,” American Conference Institute Advanced Forum on Technology Licensing Agreements (April 30, 2008)
  • “Drafting and Negotiating License Agreements,” Advanced IP Licensing Transactions Conference, Seattle, Washington, co-chair (January 2004)
  • “Pirates vs. Profits: Is Digital Entertainment Technology Safe for Business?” WSA Dinner Meeting, Seattle, Washington (November 2003)
  • “Evaluating and Negotiating Licenses and Outsourcing Agreements,” Municipal Broadband Conference, San Francisco, California, September 2002, and Seattle, Washington (December 2002)
  • “Ethics in Negotiations,” Ethics for the Transactional Lawyer Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Seattle, Washington (November 2002)
  • “Maximizing the Value of Intellectual Property Assets in a Down Market,” Forum for Women Entrepreneurs seminar, Seattle, Washington (June 2002)
  • “Contract Management and Intellectual Property Tricks and Traps,” PricewaterhouseCoopers General Counsel Forum, Seattle, Washington (March 2002)
  • “Intellectual Property Law,” CLE Bootcamp, Seattle, Washington (January 2002)
  • “Contracting with Application Service Providers,” 3G Wireless Workshop, Seattle, Washington (May 2002)
  • “New Business Structures,” Doing Business Online: U.S. and Canada conference, Vancouver, B.C. (May 2001)
  • “Due Diligence—Protecting Intellectual Property,” Venture Capital Financing conference, Seattle, Washington (October 2000)
  • “New Business Structures,” Doing Business Online conference, Seattle, Washington(October 2000)
  • “E-commerce for Business Lawyers,” MBA-CLE conference, Portland, Oregon (March 2000)
  • “Intellectual Property Issues in Employment Contracts,” Covenants Not To Compete conference, Portland, Oregon (September 1999)



  • Oregon State Bar Association (1982 to Present)
  • Washington State Bar Association (2001 to Present)



  • 1982, Juris Doctor, University of Oregon School of Law, awarded Order of the Coif
  • 1978, Bachelor of Arts, University of Minnesota