Courtland C. Merrill

Courtland C. Merrill

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (612) 225-2943

Primary Office

Minneapolis
33 South Sixth Street
Suite 4750
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Courtland C. Merrill

Partner

Courtland C. Merrill

Courtland Merrill represents businesses across the country in intellectual property disputes, including enforcement of patents and IP rights in trials and appeals. His patent litigation experience includes handling claims of willful patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, an area of his work that won him recognition by Law360 as a "Legal Lion" following a $1.85 million verdict for a manufacturing client. Courtland defends patents challenged in the inter partes review process before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He also helps companies protect their intellectual property rights with claims alleging theft of trade secrets and enforcement of non-compete agreements and contracts. He represents medical device manufacturers, makers of consumer products and technology manufacturers, among many other types of clients.

Beyond his IP litigation practice, Courtland's work as a business trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience extends to representations in commercial disputes. His experience in this area includes business and contract disputes concerning real estate and construction projects as well as banking and lender liability issues.

 

Experience

Intellectual Property Litigation

Select representations include:

Johnstech International Corp. in a claim against a Malaysian competitor for willful patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, including an award of enhanced damages. Won a $1.5 million jury verdict and permanent injunction for Johnstech. The verdict was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Circuit Check, Inc. in a claim against a competitor for willful patent infringement. Won a $1.85 million jury verdict and, on appeal before the Federal Circuit, secured a reversal of the trial judge’s decision setting aside the jury verdict for obviousness.
Flameless candle designer Luminara Worldwide, LLC in an enforcement action to protect its intellectual property rights against a Chinese manufacturer for theft of trade secrets and infringement of patents related to Artificial Flame Technology licensed from Disney, and originally used in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Participated in inter partes review proceedings before the Patent and Trial Appeal Board co-pending with the district court action.
Particle detector manufacturer TSI Inc. in two separate patent cases. Obtained summary judgment of non-infringement in both cases. Both courts found cases were “exceptional” and awarded TSI attorneys’ fees. Judgments were affirmed on appeal to the Federal Circuit. Obtained ownership of plaintiff’s entire patent portfolio for TSI through subsequent judgment enforcement proceedings.
Decorative laser lighting distributor Seasonal Specialties against claims of patent infringement by “As Seen on TV” marketer Telebrands Corp. Obtained transfer of the case from New Jersey federal court to Minnesota and stayed case pending reexamination before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The case was dismissed without any payment by the client.
Life sciences company Sutura in patent litigation against Abbott Labs in the Eastern District of Texas. Recovered a $23 million settlement for Sutura in a claim concerning vascular closure technology.
Dental products manufacturer Danville Manufacturing in patent litigation involving “thixotropic” composite dental fillings. Obtained a judgment of non-infringement following a key discovery in Germany and a favorable claim construction ruling.
Media packaging manufacturer Glud & Marstrand A/S in a design patent and trade dress infringement case against a competitor. Secured a preliminary injunction and subsequent settlement barring further sales of infringing products.
Commercial Litigation

Select representations include:

Real estate developers in a claim alleging they had personally guaranteed a $13 million loan for a shopping center. The district court ruled defendants had no liability.
A medical device manufacturer and its sales representatives in defense of claims for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference by a competitor. Successfully compelled arbitration of claims against sales representatives.
A business seller in an action for breach of contract against an acquirer of automated window washing technology, following the acquirer’s refusal to make payment obligations.
A gas station franchisee against the franchisor for breach of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act, due to an attempted non-renewal of the franchise agreement. Resolved the matter after filing a motion for preliminary injunction to stop termination of the franchise.
A building contractor in defense of claims for breach of warranty and defective workmanship.

Thought Leadership

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Named to The Best Lawyers in America list, Intellectual Property Litigation, 2021 to present

Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers list, 2018 to 2020

Named a “Local Litigation Star” in Minnesota by Benchmark Litigation, 2016 to 2017

Named a “ Future Star” in Minnesota by Benchmark Litigation, 2010 to 2015

Selected to the Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2005 to 2014

Memberships and Affiliations

Hennepin County Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Minnesota State Bar Association

American Intellectual Property Law Association

Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association

Volunteer Attorney, Volunteer Lawyers Network

Volunteer Investigator, Fourth Judicial District Ethics Committee

Volunteer Bantam Team Manager, Minneapolis Hockey Association

Education

J.D., with distinction, University of North Dakota School of Law, 2001

B.S., Arizona State University, 1997

Bar Admissions

Minnesota
Wisconsin

Courtland Merrill represents businesses across the country in intellectual property disputes, including enforcement of patents and IP rights in trials and appeals. His patent litigation experience includes handling claims of willful patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, an area of his work that won him recognition by Law360 as a "Legal Lion" following a $1.85 million verdict for a manufacturing client. Courtland defends patents challenged in the inter partes review process before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He also helps companies protect their intellectual property rights with claims alleging theft of trade secrets and enforcement of non-compete agreements and contracts. He represents medical device manufacturers, makers of consumer products and technology manufacturers, among many other types of clients.

Beyond his IP litigation practice, Courtland's work as a business trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience extends to representations in commercial disputes. His experience in this area includes business and contract disputes concerning real estate and construction projects as well as banking and lender liability issues.