Courtland Merrill is a trial lawyer whose practice focuses exclusively on business and intellectual property disputes.
His experience includes trials and appeals of contract and trade secret disputes, enforcement of patents and other intellectual property rights, and litigation of non-compete agreements. Courtland’s experience includes the following representative matters:
- As lead trial counsel, won $1.5 million jury verdict and permanent injunction for client Johnstech International Corp., against Malaysian competitor for willful patent infringement under doctrine of equivalents, including an award of enhanced damages. See Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SDN BHD, 315 F.Supp.3d 1130 (N.D. Cal. 2018). Argued appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit. Verdict affirmed July 15, 2019.
- As lead trial counsel, won $1.85 million jury verdict for client Circuit Check, Inc., against competitor for willful patent infringement. Successfully argued appeal before the Federal Circuit, securing reversal of the trial judge’s decision setting aside the jury verdict for obviousness. See Circuit Check, Inc. v. QXQ, Inc., 795 F.3d 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2015). Law360 identified Courtland as a “Legal Lion” as a result of his work on behalf of Circuit Check.
- Led flameless candle designer Luminara Worldwide, LLC in enforcement of intellectual property rights against 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.
- Led defense of 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 affirmed on appeal to the Federal Circuit. Obtained ownership of plaintiff’s entire patent portfolio for TSI through subsequent judgment enforcement proceedings.
- Led defense of decorative laser lighting distributor Seasonal Specialties against claims of patent infringement by “As Seen on TV” marketer Telebrands Corp. Successfully obtained transfer of case from New Jersey federal court to Minnesota. Successfully stayed case pending reexamination before the U.S. Patent Office. Case dismissed without any payment by client.
- Recovered $23 million settlement on behalf of plaintiff Sutura against Abbott Labs in patent litigation in Eastern District of Texas concerning vascular closure technology.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of defendants alleged to have personally guaranteed $13 million loan for shopping center. U.S. Bank alleged defendants were personally liable for the entire loan. The district court ruled defendants had no liability.
- Obtained judgment of non-infringement for dental products manufacturer Danville Manufacturing in patent litigation involving “thixotropic” composite dental fillings following key discovery in Germany and favorable claim construction ruling.
- Secured preliminary injunction and subsequent settlement barring further sales of infringing products, for media packaging manufacturer Glud & Marstrand A/S, against competitor for design patent and trade dress infringement.
Courtland joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in 2008. He has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” and “Rising Star.”
Courtland is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and before the Eighth, Seventh, and Federal Circuit courts of appeal. He has also appeared before courts in California, Delaware, Utah, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
Member, Federal Bar Association
Member, Minnesota State Bar Association
Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
Member, Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
Medical Device Manufacturer Not Liable for Inducing Customers' Patent Infringement, Minnesota Lawyer and Finance & Commerce - Partner Content, February 2020
Minnesota Check Processor's Business Method Patent Gets Voided by the Federal Circuit, Minnesota Lawyer and Finance & Commerce - Partner Content, September 2019
Oil States v. Greene's Energy: Will Justice Gorsuch Make Patent Litigation Great Again? Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, January 2018
SCOTUS Re-Evaluation of Venue Could End Alleged Forum Shopping in Patent Cases, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, May 2017
Patent Jury Trials: Do Administrative Proceedings at the U.S. Patent Office Undermine Patent Owners' Right to a Jury? Minnesota Lawyer - Sponsored Blog, October 2016
The Rise and Fall of Business Method Patents, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, April 2015
How to Win a Patent Case (or Any Complex Litigation) without Your Client Going Broke, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, June 2014
Cheap, Powerful Patent Protection: What You Need To Know About Design Patents, Attorney at Law Magazine - Minnesota Edition, June 2013 (co-authored with Michael B. Lasky)
Expert Witness Disclosures: How to Comply and Avoid Exclusion, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, April 2008