John T. Winemiller, Ph.D.

Partner
Knoxville
9717 Cogdill Road, Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37932
D: 865.380.5977
Contact My Assistant
Angela Kreis
D: 865.380.5972

Education

University of Tennessee College of Law
J.D., summa cum laude, 2000
Order of the Coif
    Editor in Chief, Tennessee Law Review

University of Chicago
Ph.D. Music History and Theory, 1994
M.A. Music History and Theory, 1991

Carleton College
B.A. Music History and Theory, magna cum laude, 1988

Bar and Court Admissions

Tennessee State Bar
Eastern District of Tennessee
Middle District of Tennessee
Western District of Tennessee
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation
    Fellow
American Intellectual Property Law Association
Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association
Tennessee Bar Association
    Chair, Intellectual Property Section
    Past Chair, Federal Practice Section
    Graduate, Leadership Law Class of 2006

Knoxville Bar Association
    Past Chair, Law Week Committee

Awards & Recognition

Selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2011-2016

Award of Merit Recipient, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Named as one of Knoxville Top Attorneys by Cityview Magazine for Intellectual Property/Trademarks, 2012-2014

Publications & Speaking

John Winemiller: Proposed legislation targets patent trolls, Knoxvillebiz.com, April 7, 2014

Don't Just Stand There; Do Something! Consequences of Pending Anti-Troll Legislation on Pleading Standards, Rule 11, and the American Rule at Knoxville Bar Association CLE Program Lord of the Bling: Trolls, Treasure and Trends in IP Litigation that May Impact Any Client, February 28, 2014

Avoiding that ‘Cease and Desist’ Letter, KBA The Consigliere, Vol. 7, No. 1, Winter 2012

The Endangered Species Act and the Imprecise Scope of the Substantial Effects Analysis, 18 Tulane Environmental Law Journal 159, 2004

Casenote, United States v. Scheffler, 77 Tennessee Law Review 331, 1998

Recontextualizing Handel's Borrowings, 15 Journal of Musicology 444, 1997

Borrowing, Copyright, and Proprietary Authorship, 8 American Handel Society Newsletter 1, 1993

John is an intellectual property attorney and partner at Merchant & Gould's Knoxville office. His practice centers on patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright litigation, but also includes IP licensing issues and trademark, patent, and copyright counseling and prosecution. He has represented clients in a broad range of industries, from electrical switches and electronic pet products, to hosiery manufacturers and home builders. He has secured favorable trial and pre-trial results and significant settlement wins in disputes in federal courts. He also has extensive experience with commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and appeals in state and federal courts. His ability to understand and articulate complex concepts in a way that decision-makers can understand helps him to proactively and effectively assist his clients in protecting their intellectual property assets.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, John received an M.A. and Ph.D. in music history and theory from the University of Chicago, where he taught before joining the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. John's academic research focused on the nexus between the creative process and eighteenth-century conceptions of intellectual property. His fascination with the theory of ownership of ideas led him to law school and, ultimately, to Merchant & Gould. Before entering private practice, he clerked for federal judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Eastern District of Tennessee.

John serves on the diversity committee at the firm, and serves as the marketing coordinator for the Knoxville office. He is a member of the Board of Commissioners for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, a post to which he was appointed by Knoxville’s mayor, Madeline Rogero, in 2014. He is also a member of the boards of directors for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. He represents individuals, arts groups, civil rights groups, and disability advocacy groups pro bono, and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and teacher on intellectual property, civil procedure, and litigation matters. In his spare time, John enjoys reading, historic preservation, music performance, cooking, exercise, and travel.

Representative Cases

Obtained judgment as a matter of law following jury trial in patent infringement lawsuit involving electronic pet containment and training systems. Radio Systems Corporation and Innotek, Inc. v Tom Lalor and Bumper Boy, Inc., U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, Case No. 2:10-cv-00828.

Obtained no-payment multi-case settlement following close of plaintiff’s proof in bench trial in trademark infringement lawsuit involving electronic containment fences for dogs. Invisible Fence, Inc. v Fido’s Fences, Inc., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, Case No. 3:09-cv-00025.

Represented advertising agency in copyright infringement action, positioning case for favorable settlement.

Served as a court-appointed special master in a contentious lawsuit involving a local utilities district and its CEO's retirement-benefits package.

Obtained the dismissal of a $1.5 million economic damages claim in a product liability action against a Fortune 100 manufacturer, resulting in a quick settlement on favorable terms.

Represented a Fortune 250 environmental services provider in million-dollar municipal contract dispute and a national engineering services firm in a million-dollar construction fee dispute. His efforts positioned both cases for settlement on favorable terms. Also in 2009, John was part of a trial team that obtained a directed verdict for a financial services company sued for fraud and violation of the consumer protection act.

Represented an internet retailer in defense of a Lanham Act suit involving alleged cybersquatting. He obtained a partial dismissal, which positioned the case for settlement on favorable terms. Kaiya Eve Couture LLC v. My Trendy Girl, Inc., Case No. CV 07-6294 (C.D. Cal., dismissed June 19, 2008).

Obtained summary judgment for a Fortune 250 insurance broker in a multimillion-dollar coverage dispute. Anderson Tully Co. v. Federal Ins. Co., Aon Risk Servs., Inc. of Missouri and Aon Fin. Servs. Group, Inc., Case No. 05-cv-02627 (W.D. Tenn., judgment entered Sept. 24, 2007). The decision was upheld on appeal. Anderson-Tully Co. v. Aon Risk Servs. of Missouri, Inc., Aon Fin. Servs. Group, Inc., No. 08-5524 (6th Cir. Sept. 23, 2009).  Also in 2007, John obtained judgment on the pleadings in a personal injury action against a Fortune 25 pharmaceutical company. McCandless v. Pfizer, Inc. et al., Case No. 06-cv-051 (Tenn. Cir. Ct., dismissed Feb. 5, 2007).

Obtained a favorable jury verdict for a nationwide book wholesaler in a contract dispute. American Book Co. v. Fortner, Case No. 163506-2 (Tenn. Ch. Ct., judgment entered June 2, 2006).

Obtained summary judgment for a Fortune Global 500 company in a million-dollar contract dispute. Triple H Distributing, Inc. v. Henkel Corp. et al., No. 2:04-cv-02108 (W.D. Tenn., judgment entered Mar. 18, 2005).

Represented an internet company in the prosecution of a Lanham Act claim against a cyber squatter. The court's order granting his jurisdictional motion established precedent in the Sixth Circuit for service of process via email against cyber squatters. See Popular Enterprises v. Webcom Media Group, Inc., 225 F.R.D. 560 (E.D. Tenn. 2004).

Teaching

Adjunct professor, University of Tennessee College of Law
    Civil procedure
    Pretrial litigation

Leadership and Civic Involvement

Member, Board of Commissioners for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation
Board member, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
Board member, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Steering Committee Member, The Performing Arts & Lecture Series (past)
Board Member, The Actors Co-op, Inc. (past)

Judicial Clerkships

Law clerk, the Honorable James L. Dennis, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2002-2003

Law clerk, the Honorable Curtis L. Collier, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 2000-2002


MEDIA CENTER

All Media
Events
6/8/16
Social Media CLE in Knoxville
Merchant & Gould, Moxley Carmichael, and the Tennessee Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel have teamed up to offer an informative CLE on managing corporate social media content. All are welcome to register by clicking the link below.Legal ...
Press Releases
3/25/16
John T. Winemiller Inducted as Fellow to American Bar Foundation
John T. Winemiller, a partner with Merchant & Gould, has been inducted as a fellow to the American Bar Foundation. Winemiller is based in the Knoxville, Tennessee, office of the national intellectual property law firm.“We welcome Mr. Winemiller to ...
Events
10/28/15
Merchant & Gould Attorneys Speaking at Trade Secrets CLE in Knoxville
Three Merchant & Gould attorneys will be featured speakers at a CLE hosted by the Tennessee Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel in Knoxville, Tenn. on October 28, 2015. Partners Rachel Zimmerman Scobie, from Merchant & Gould's Minneapolis ...
Press Releases
1/5/15
Merchant & Gould Announces Three New Partners in IP Law
Merchant & Gould, a leading intellectual property law firm, announced that attorneys Ben Tramm of Minneapolis and John Winemiller of Knoxville were named Equity Partners and Aaron Johnson of Minneapolis was named an Income Partner, effective January 1, ...
Press Releases
1/4/13
Merchant & Gould Announces Three New Partners
Intellectual property law firm Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce the appointment of three new partners. Heather J. Kliebenstein has been promoted to equity partner, and R. Bradford Brittian and John T. Winemiller have been promoted to income partner.“These ...
Articles
7/18/12
Intellectual Property - Avoiding that Trademark "Cease and Desist" Letter
Press Releases
8/22/11
16 Merchant & Gould Attorneys Named 2011 Super Lawyers
Firm Also Recognizes Nine Rising Stars Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, today announced that 16 of the firm's attorneys are named Super Lawyers in 2011. The attorneys are recognized for excellence in intellectual property law and ...
Press Releases
6/20/11
Merchant & Gould Ramps Up in East Tennessee
Firm Brings Unparalleled Depth of Intellectual Property Experience to Region Merchant & Gould, a leading national IP law firm, today announced its significant expansion in East Tennessee. The firm's Knoxville office has increased its legal staff ...