Daniel W. McDonald

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Merchant & Gould P.C.
 | 150 S 5th St, Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-504-6662
Fax: 612-332-9081
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1985
Practice Areas:
  • Intellectual Property Litigation (90%),
  • Intellectual Property (10%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Daniel W. McDonald is a partner with the Merchant & Gould P.C. law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A highly rated and award-winning attorney with more than 30 years of legal experience, Mr. McDonald focuses his practice primarily on intellectual property law and helping his clients secure and enforce patents, copyrights, trademarks and other protections for their important ideas, inventions and trade secrets.

Having earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, with distinction, from the University of Minnesota in 1982, Mr. McDonald has a strong technical background, which serves him well as he represents his clients in a variety of high-tech industries, including software development, electronics, internet technologies, aerospace and telecommunications, medical devices, and more.

Throughout the course of his career, he has achieved notable success representing the rights and interests of both plaintiffs and defendants alike during complex litigation, securing injunctions and recovering numerous multimillion-dollar judgments on behalf of those he has served. He also has extensive experience handling appeals as well as all aspects of post-grant proceedings.

Mr. McDonald began his legal career in 1985 after obtaining his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School and receiving his license to practice from the Minnesota State Bar Association. Along with practicing before all state and federal courts in the state, he is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Regarded as a leader in his field, Mr. McDonald writes extensively and conducts lectures throughout the country on a range of topics related to intellectual property law and patent litigation. Active in a number of professional legal organizations, he is the past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Computer and Technology Law Section and past chair of the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association's Litigation/CAFC/ADR Committee.

Mr. McDonald is also a fellow with the American Bar Association, and he continues to support his alma mater through his involvement with several alumni associations. Recognized for his impeccable professionalism, he has received many awards and honors, including being named Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer in 2015 and Lawyer of the Year for 2015 for Patent Litigation in Minneapolis by Best Lawyers®. He also holds an AV Preeminent peer review rating* from Martindale-Hubbell.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers in America© are registered trademarks of Woodward/White, Inc. The names, logo, and database are protected under the trademark, copyright, and fair use laws of the United States of America. Any use of name, including in electronic form, must be made only by permission and under the guidelines of Woodward/White, Inc.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Intellectual Property Litigation (90%)

Intellectual Property (10%): Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, Intellectual Property Law

Focus Areas

Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, Intellectual Property Law


Selected to Super Lawyers for 14 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019

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About Daniel McDonald

Admitted: 1985, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: http://www.merchantgould.com/Professionals/Daniel-W-McDonald


  • Leading Individuals in IP Litigation in Minnesota, Chambers USA
  • Selected for inclusion in Top 100 Super Lawyer's in Minnesota, 2013
  • Selected for inclusion in the IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, Minnesota, 2014-2017
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2006-2017
  • Best Lawyers in America by The Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2015, 2018
  • Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, 2015
  • IP Stars by Managing IP, 2013-2014
  • AV peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyer’s® Lawyer of the Year for 2015 for Patent Litigation in Minneapolis

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society, Past President
  • Minnesota State and Federal Bars, 1985
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Tenth Circuits
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Chair, 2016-2017
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association, Past Chair, Litigation/CAFC/ADR Committee
  • The American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1986
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Past Chair,  2017-2018
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Past President, Computer Law Section
  • Minnesota Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, Founder and Past President
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of Minnesota Law School, Alumni Board of Advisors, Chair of Academic Engagement Committee

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Past President, Univ. of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society
  • Minnesota Alumni Chapter of Tau Beta Pi
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association Board, 2008-present
  • National Engineering Honor Society, Founder and Past President
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Secretary-Treasurer and At-Large 

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Protect the Better Mousetrap, Minneapolis Star Tribune - January 2003
  • Why Aren't Experts Fees Recoverable in Patent Cases? Journal of Patent Office Society, Vol 84, No. 4, April 2002
  • Trade Dress Law, Aspen Law & Business (chapter regarding litigation from plaintiff's perspective)
  • An End to systematically Undercompensating US Patentees?, Law360, December 20, 2017
  • Recovery of Expert Fees Driven by More Than Octane, co-authored with Linhda Nguyen, ABA Intellectual Property Litigation, Winter 2016, Vol. 27, No. 2, January 11, 2016
  • Copyright Infringement: Risks Are Increasing Online, Forbes - April 18, 2005
  • The power of patent reexams: An underused weapon in the accused infringer's arsenal, The Patent Lawyer - May 2004; APLF Roundtable - 2004
  • Practical and Legal Issues in Utilization of Non-attorney Technologists: A Litigation Perspective, 2004 AIPLA Spring Meeting Presentation
  • Smart Pills: Setting Rules After Rambus, IP Law & Business - October 2003
  • MPHJ Case Is Good News For Downstream Tech Users, Law360, co-authored with William D. Schultz, September 4, 2013
  • E-book, Protecting Your Company from the New Era of Patent Infringement Suits, ExecSense, Dec. 2012available at amazon.com (ASIN B00AOBIOM6)(Also available in Japanese)
  • “Business forum:  Stemming the tidal wave of patent claims,” co-authored with William D. Schultz, Minneapolis StarTribune, August 4, 2012
  • LexisNexis® Intellectual Property Law Center Podcast featuring Dan McDonald of Merchant & Gould on In re: Bilski, Published on Apr 28, 2009 in Politics
  • Beyond Rule 11: The Case For Full Early Assessment, co-authored with Joseph E. Lee, IP Law360 - December 4, 2007
  • Does Phillips v. AWH Corp Take the Life Out of the "Life and Meaning" Test for Whether Claim Preambles All Limitations? AIPLA Quarterly Journal, June 2007, with H. Kliebenstein
  • MedImmune: More Leverage, co-author, Law Week Colorado (May 14, 2007)
  • Fighting the Modern Patent Wars, IP Today, January 2007, page 7
  • Supreme Court Decision Gives Licensees Leverage, IP360, March 2007
  • Presentation on Trade Dress Protection in the Wake of the Supreme Court's Traffix Decision , APLF Roundtable - July 2003


  • Snap-Saver LLC v. Rubbermaid
  • Mostly Memories Inc. v. For Your Ease Only Inc. and QVC Inc. (N.D. Ill Judge Castillo)
  • For Your Ease Only, Inc v. Calgon Carbon Corp. et al (No. 07-4034, 7th Cir. March 31, 2009)
  • Cooper Notification Inc. v. Federal Signal et al.  (D. Del. Judge Stark), 2014
  • Rudolph Technology and August Technologies Inc. v. Camtek Inc. ( jury trial 2009 in D. Minn., Judge Davis presiding), 2015
  • ePlus, Inc. v Lawson Software, 2011

Representative Clients:

  • Medtronic, Inc. Rudolph Technologies, Inc. Federal Signal Corp. For Your Ease Only, Inc. (Lori Greiner of ABC TV's Shark Tank

Educational Background:

  • University of Minnesota, B.S. Electrical Engineering, high distinction, 1982

Industry Groups

  • Computer
  • Consumer Goods
  • Internet
  • Medical Device
  • Software
  • Telecommunications
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Office Location for Daniel W. McDonald

150 S 5th St
Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-504-6662

Fax: 612-332-9081

Daniel W. McDonald:

Last Updated: 9/6/2019

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