Courtland Merrill is a shareholder at Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A. He joined the firm in 2001. His practice focuses exclusively on business litigation across multiple industries on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. His litigation experience includes trials and appeals of complex contract disputes, enforcement of intellectual property rights, trade secret misappropriation, non-compete agreements, employment disputes, among others.
Courtland has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Super Lawyers every year since 2005. He was selected a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation in 2010.
B.S. Arizona State University, 1997
J.D., with distinction, University of North Dakota, 2001
Admitted to practice in Minnesota, Wisconsin, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Courtland regularly appears pro hac vice in various state and federal courts throughout the U.S. including California, Texas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
U.S. Bank v. MP Operating, LLC, (Minn. Dist. Ct.—Stearns Cty.): Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the defendants who were personal guarantors of $13 million loan for shopping center. U.S. Bank alleged defendants were personally liable for the entire loan plus fees and prepayment penalties totaling in excess of $18 million. The district court ruled defendants had no liability to the bank under the asserted full-recourse guaranty.
ProStaff, Inc. v. American International Group, Inc., (Texas Dist. Ct.—Harris Cty.): Represented plaintiff ProStaff, Inc. against AIG and American General Insurance, a subsidiary of AIG. The suit sought the recovery of $25 million in insurance proceeds, as well as additional bad faith damages of $15-40 million. The case was satisfactorily and confidentially resolved just before trial in May 2011.
Clim-A-Tech Indus., Inc. v. Healy, (Minn. Dist. Ct.—Hennepin Cty.): Represented plaintiff Clim-A-Tech against former employee in suit for breach of non-compete and confidentiality agreement. Successfully sought and received a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction prohibiting ongoing violation of non-compete agreement and further misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information.
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.
Hasel v. Danville Mfg., (D. Minn.): Defended dental products manufacturer Danville in patent litigation involving composite dental filling technology. Obtained judgment of non-infringement following completion of key discovery in Germany and favorable claim construction ruling. Awarded $128,000 in attorney’s fees.
Jenkins v. Smead Mfg. Co., (S.D. Cal.): Defended Smead against alleged infringement of patented method of labeling file folders.
Glud & Marstrand A/S v. B.D.M.O., S.A., (N.D. Ohio): Represented plaintiff G&M, manufacturer of metal DVD/Blu-ray packaging, against competitor for design patent and trade dress infringement.
Cordis Corp. v. various companies, (D. Minn.): Represented Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Cordis Corp. in multiple patent matters in federal district court involving coronary stent technologies.
Trade Secrets Litigation
CardioVention, Inc. v. Medtronic, Inc., (D. Minn.): Represented plaintiff CardioVention against Medtronic in 3½ week jury trial for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of confidentiality agreement related to minimally-invasive cardiopulmonary bypass technology.
Minnesota Life Ins. Co. v. AXA Investment Mgr., (D. Minn.): Defended asset managers against claims of “corporate raiding,” misappropriation of trade secrets, and violation of Lanaham Act.
ev3, Inc. v. Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., (Minn. Dist. Ct.—Ramsey Cty.): Represented defendant Cardiovascular Systems and individual defendant sale representatives against claims by ev3 for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference. Successfully compelled arbitration of claims against individual defendants based on terms of their employment agreements with ev3’s predecessor.
Risdall Advertising v. Linnihan Foy Advertising, (D. Minn.): Defended advertising agency in copyright and trade secrets litigation brought by competitor.
LaFreniere v. Access Genetics, LLC, (D. Minn.): Defended Access Genetics in copyright litigation involving Human Papillomavirus cataloging software and database.
Sublime Stitching, LLC v. Embroidery Library, Inc., (D. Minn.): Defended online retailer for alleged infringement of copyrighted embroidery designs and related claims under Lanham Act. Obtained dismissal of claims for statutory damages and attorneys’ fees due to copyright holder’s failure to timely register copyright following first publication.
Smead Mfg. Co. v. Esselte, (D. Minn.): Represented plaintiff Smead against competitor for infringement of registered trademark “Hang Tuff” in connection with hanging file folders. Obtained settlement permanently barring competitor’s use of infringing mark.
QVC, Inc. v. ShopNBC, (E.D. Penn.): Defended home shopping network, ShopNBC, in action by competitor for alleged infringement of registered trademark “Klondike Gold Rush” in connection with the sale of gold jewelry during direct response television programming.
QVC, Inc. v. ShopNBC, (E.D. Penn.): Defended ShopNBC against alleged infringement of registered mark “Christmas in July” in connection with the sale of goods in the month of July on direct response television programming.
Expert Witness Disclosures: How to Comply and Avoid Exclusion, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, April 2008.
Raiding Claims: Hot Trends in Securities Arbitration Seminar with Vincent D. Louwagie, Presented April 12, 2002, Minneapolis, MN.
Courtland is a member of the Minnesota, Hennepin County, and Federal Bar Associations.