Merchant & Gould, P.C.

Merchant & Gould's 2022 Cityview Top Attorney Winning Categories
Constitutional law/Civil Rights
Cybersecurity Law
Entertainment & Sports
Intellectual Property/Trademarks
Patent Law
Privacy Law

Guardians of Great Ideas

East Tennessee is home to innovation. With Oak Ridge National Laboratories and the University of Tennessee, among many other industry leaders, this is the land of bright ideas, research-based discoveries, and exceptional developments. When innovation is present, the need to protect intellectual property closely follows. Enter Merchant & Gould, a law firm touted as the Guardians of Great Ideas.

The firm was founded in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. in 1900, opening its Knoxville office in 2006. Over the last 122 years, the firm expanded to include New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles offices. “We also do our work on an international scale through a network of associated foreign counsel in every country that has intellectual property systems,” says Chris Leonard, CEO and Managing Director of Merchant & Gould. 

The practice has evolved from core patent, trademark, and copyright procurement and litigation services to include all areas of innovation. Today, that means Internet systems, cybersecurity, consumer protection and more. The firm also engages in complex International Trade Commission actions, helping clients to prevent infringing products, materials, or services from coming into the United States.

On the patent side, to be registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, attorneys must have a technical degree in such areas as engineering, chemistry, physics, or biology. The firm is filled with engineers, scientists, and those with PhDs in the technical arts. “The work we do is incredibly sophisticated,” Leonard says. “We’re doing complex patent work in pharmaceuticals, software, semiconductors, and a variety of electro-mechanical arts. On the trademark side, we are helping with worldwide branding efforts and trademark registration.” The firm’s litigation practice handles complex IP and innovation related matters throughout the country in the district and appellate courts. 

These technical backgrounds and litigation skills are exceptional. A client can have any issue in intellectual property or innovation services, and there is someone within the firm who can handle the issue. “If we have a client contact us today with a biotechnology issue, a DNA sequencing issue, a complex chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering issue, or a rebranding of its offerings—the answer is, ‘We can do that,’” Leonard says. Even during the Covid-19 crisis, Leonard says he is proud of how his team was consistently ready to meet clients’ needs.

Leonard founded the Knoxville office to support the local, well-established and growing innovation sectors, but also because of the highly skilled attorneys who call East Tennessee home. “Brad Brittian, John Winemiller, and Ian McFarland are seasoned veterans in complex IP litigation and other areas of IP and innovation,” says Leonard, who also calls East Tennessee home. “It’s amazing what they can bring to bear on their cases. Michael Lukon—who heads up the patent practice in Knoxville­—is a highly skilled attorney with advanced degrees in engineering.”

At Merchant & Gould, the term “team” is well at play. And while this team regularly may reach around the globe, they approach their work in a thoughtful and collaborative way for every client regardless of size or location, calling always upon the strengths of their teammates to help their clients succeed in an ever changing and complex world.   

Merchant & Gould, P.C.
800 S. Gay Street, Suite 2150
Knoxville, TN 37929
(865) 380-5960
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