Rachel K. Zimmerman Scobie


“I don't have a 'one size fits all' approach to litigation. I tailor my strategy to each client with the company's goals firmly in mind.”

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Working with clients at the forefront of their fields in developing new technologies, Rachel interacts with people who are as passionate and enthusiastic about their products as she is about the law. Her competitive spirit and analytical thinking skills combined with attention to detail and winning strategies help her deliver favorable resolutions to her clients' problems.

Rachel is an experienced trial lawyer who has handled all aspects of complex intellectual property disputes from investigation and preparation of the complaint through trial, post-trial, and appeal. She has managed discovery, directed patent claim construction proceedings, taken and defended fact and expert depositions, handled nondispositive and dispositive motion practice, represented client interests in mediation and settlement conferences, drafted and argued motions in limine and other pre- and post-trial matters, and examined fact and expert witnesses at trial.

Rachel has been responsible for matters in various federal courts and agencies throughout the United States, in state court in Minnesota, and in arbitration. She also has significant experience handling appellate-level disputes, a practice to which she brings valuable experience as a former clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge James B. Loken. She has represented clients in numerous appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and has participated in all aspects of appellate practice before that Court, including motion practice, briefing, mediation, and oral argument.

At Merchant & Gould, Rachel is co-chair of the recruiting committee and serves on the technology committee. She serves as a Director and Vice Chair for The Fund for Legal Aid, as President of the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and as a volunteer attorney for the Children’s Law Center. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys running and traveling with her family.



New York University School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude, 2001
Order of the Coif

Pomona College
B.A. Psychology, cum laude, 1998
Psi Chi Honor Society

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, 2008
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2006
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2003
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2002
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2002
Minnesota State Bar, 2001

Professional Affiliations

American Intellectual Property Law Association
Federal Bar Association - MN Chapter
    President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Federal Circuit Bar Association
Minnesota State Bar Association
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
    Appointed Co-Chair, Merit Selection Panel, 2014
The Fund for Legal Aid
    Vice Chair and Director

Representative Cases

Represented Fortune 500 company in complex patent litigation against competitor. Technology at issue involved antimicrobial treatments for use in food processing plants. Case resulted in a verdict of willful infringement against competitor as to multiple asserted claims, and verdict of misappropriation of trade secrets.

Represented large hard disk drive company in connection with trade secret misappropriation claims. Successfully obtained order compelling enforcement of binding arbitration agreement.

Represented semi-professional football team in trademark litigation against another semi-professional football team infringing client's mark. Resolved case with injunction against infringer's future use.

Represented company in semiconductor industry in patent infringement action against competitor. Participated in Markman efforts resulting in favorable claim construction rulings.

Defended company in medical testing industry accused of false advertising and unfair competition in connection with statements made about a license to technology subject to a patent application. Obtained favorable result for client, including dismissal with prejudice of all claims with no damages or conditions.

Defended company in consumer electronics industry in patent litigation against competitor. Avoided requested preliminary injunctive relief and efficiently achieved favorable resolution of matter for client.

Represented company in packaging industry in litigation involving misappropriation of trade secrets by departing employee. Achieved efficient and favorable resolution of matter for client.

Represented company in archery products industry in patent infringement litigation against competitor. Obtained sanctions against other party in connection with motions to compel necessitated by other party's lack of cooperation in discovery. Obtained preliminary injunction against key competitor's sales of accused devices. Resolved matter favorably to client shortly thereafter.

Defended company in archery products industry in patent infringement litigation brought by competitor. Obtained covenant not to sue and dismissal with prejudice on behalf of client.

Represented company in archery products industry in patent infringement litigation against competitor. Defeated motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Obtained favorable judgment in bankruptcy proceeding.

Represented Fortune 500 company in patent infringement litigation against competitor. Technology at issue was in field of chemical engineering. Achieved favorable result following claim construction obtained on appeal of denial of preliminary injunctive relief.

Defended company in waste treatment industry in post-trial proceedings pertaining to patent infringement litigation. Obtained denial of motion for new trial under Rule 60(b), sanctions against other party in connection with 60(b) motion, and order prohibiting other party from making any future filings in the case.

Represented Fortune 500 company in patent infringement trial against competitor. Technology at issue involved fields of mechanical engineering and optics. After six-week trial, jury found claims infringed and not invalid.

Obtained favorable infringement damages award for Fortune 500 company in patent infringement litigation against competitor.

Awards & Recognition

IP Stars Top 250 Women in IP, 2015
Best Lawyers in America by The Best Lawyers in America, 2014-2015
40 Under 40 honoree, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2014
Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer, 2014
Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
Selected for inclusion in The Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota, 2012
Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Rising Stars, 2007-2012

Publications & Speaking

Presenter, Making (Thera) Sense of Inequitable Conduct, Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association Seminar, November 2011

Co-Presenter, Everything You Need To Know About Electronic Discovery, INTA Trademark Administrator's Conference, October 2010

Moderator, HNBA 2010 Annual convention, A Judicial Perspective on the Meaning and Impact of Iqbal and Twombly with District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz and Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron, September 2010

Presenter, Patent Damages vs. Patent Reform, Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association Seminar, November 2009

Moderator, 35th Annual Federal Court Practice Seminar, Ooops - You Won Your Patent Infringement Case, but the Defendant is Broke: Collection Strategies for the IP Lawyer, June 2009

A Circuit Divided: Supreme Court Refuses Request to Reconcile Federal Circuit's Dissonant Inequitable Conduct Standards, Intellectual Property Today, July 2009

How To Try A Patent Case On A Budget...And Win, Law360, April 2009

The Way the "Cookies" Crumble: Internet Privacy and Data Protection in the Twenty-First Century, New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 2001

Representative Appeals

Represented appellee, an inventor of a novel game component, in Federal Circuit appeal of favorable district court judgment. Acted as principal attorney on appeal and argued case before the Federal Circuit. Two days after argument, Federal Circuit affirmed district court judgment in its entirety. 

Represented company in food science field in appeal to Federal Circuit of district court's summary judgment of noninfringement in a patent case.

Represented company in semiconductor field in connection with appeal of district court judgment rendering entire patent portfolio unenforceable for inequitable conduct. Convinced Federal Circuit to stay enforcement of attorneys' fee award against company pending appeal in view of dire financial consequences of immediate enforcement. Federal Circuit reversed the finding of unenforceability in its entirety, thus mooting the district court's award of approximately $3.3 million in attorneys' fees against the company.

Represented Fortune 500 company in appeal to Federal Circuit of district court's denial of preliminary injunctive relief based on erroneous claim construction in a patent case. Obtained reversal of claim construction on appeal, resulting in favorable resolution of matter in its entirety on remand.

Represented appellee, company in waste treatment industry, in connection with multiple appeals at the Federal Circuit. Company sought to preserve summary judgment of noninfringement entered in its favor in patent infringement case. In a first appeal, used motion practice to obtain dismissal of appeal. In a second appeal, obtained affirmance of district court's ruling in its entirety.

Represented appellee, Fortune 500 company, in motion practice before the Federal Circuit in connection with appellant's request for immediate stay of district court patent litigation proceedings in favor of arbitration. Obtained order denying appellant's request and summarily affirming district court's order denying arbitration.

Judicial Clerkship

Law clerk for the Honorable James B. Loken, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit


Appellate advocacy, Intellectual Property Moot Court class at the University of Minnesota Law School

Coach, University of Minnesota Law School Moot Court Team, Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition held at the Federal Circuit (national championship)


Contact Me
Phone: 612.336.4667
3200 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
tel: 612.336.4667
fax: 612.332.9081

Contact My Assistant
Carol Hough
Phone: 612.371.5257