Courtland C. Merrill

Courtland C. Merrill

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A.
 | 3600 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-349-6969
Fax: 612-349-6996
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2019
Selected to Rising Stars: 2005 - 2014
Licensed Since: 2001
Practice Areas:
  • Intellectual Property Litigation (70%),
  • Business Litigation (30%)
Attorney Profile

Courtland Merrill is a trial attorney whose practice focuses exclusively on business and intellectual property disputes.

His litigation experience includes trials and appeals of contract disputes, enforcement of patent and other intellectual property rights, claims for trade secret misappropriation, and litigation of non-compete agreements, among other matters.

As lead trial counsel, Courtland won a $1.85 million jury verdict for his client, Circuit Check, Inc., following a 4-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Circuit Check brought claims against competitor QXQ, Inc. for infringement of patents related to circuit board test fixtures. After deliberating less than three hours, the jury rejected QXQ’s obviousness defense, found infringement was willful, and awarded Circuit Check $1.85 million in lost profits and reasonable royalties. Later, however, the district court set aside the jury’s verdict, concluding that Circuit Check’s patents were invalid because the invention would have been obvious to even a “caveman.” Courtland argued the appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The appellate court reversed the district judge in Wisconsin and reinstated the jury’s verdict in favor of Circuit Check.  See Circuit Check, Inc. v. QXQ, Inc., 795 F.3d 1331 (Fed. Cir. 2015). The national legal publication Law360 identified Courtland as a “Legal Lion” as a result of his work on the Circuit Check case.

In a separate matter, Courtland obtained summary judgment of non-infringement on behalf of his client in two separate patent cases involving particle detecting technology. In the first case, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Courtland’s client summary judgment that it did not infringe one patent.  In a second case, the Central District of California ruled that Courtland’s client also did not infringe four additional patents asserted by the same plaintiff.  Both district courts determined that each case was “exceptional” and awarded Courtland’s client its attorneys’ fees.

Courtland joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in 2008. He has been repeatedly selected to the “Rising Star” list by Super Lawyers, and he has also been selected to the exclusive list of “Future Stars” by Benchmark Litigation.


About Courtland Merrill

Admitted: 2001, Minnesota

Professional Webpage:


  • Selected to the “Future Star” list by Benchmark Litigation, 2010 - 2015
  • Selected as a "Local Litigation Star" list by Benchmark Litigation for General Commercial, Professional Libabilty, Securities, 2016-2017

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association  
  • Member, Federal Bar Association  
  • Member, Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Hennepin County Bar Association  
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association  

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:


  • Sutura, Inc. v. Abbott Labs, (E.D. Texas)Represented plaintiff Sutura against Abbott Labs in litigation of nine patents covering vascular closure technology. Recovered $23 million settlement on behalf of client.
  • U.S. Bank v. MP Operating, LLC, (Minn. Dist. Ct.—Stearns Cty.)Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the defendants, personal guarantors of $13 million loan. The district court ruled defendants had no liability to the bank under the asserted guaranty.
  • ProStaff, Inc. v. American International Group, Inc., (Texas Dist. Ct.—Harris Cty.)Represented plaintiff in the recovery of $25 million in insurance proceeds, as well as additional bad faith damages of $15-40 million, against AIG subsidiary. The case was satisfactorily and confidentially resolved just before trial in May 2011.
  • Hasel v. Danville Mfg., (D. Minn.)Defended dental products manufacturer in patent litigation involving composite dental filling technology. Obtained judgment of non-infringement. Awarded $128,000 in attorney’s fees.
  • Glud & Marstrand A/S v. B.D.M.O., S.A., (N.D. Ohio)Represented plaintiff, the manufacturer of metal DVD/Blu-ray packaging, against competitor for design patent and trade dress infringement. Secured preliminary injunction and subsequent settlement barring further sales of competitor’s infringing products.
  • ev3, Inc. v. Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., (Minn. Dist. Ct.—Ramsey Cty.)Defended Cardiovascular Systems and individual sale representatives against claims by ev3 for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. Successfully compelled arbitration of claims against sales representatives.

Educational Background:

  • B.S., Arizona State University  
  • J.D., with distinction, University of North Dakota 
Office Location for Courtland C. Merrill

3600 Wells Fargo Center
90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Courtland C. Merrill:

Last Updated: 1/22/2019

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