Merchant & Gould Promotes Six Attorneys to Partners in Three Offices

Grows Local Leadership in Minneapolis, Denver and New York
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Merchant & Gould promoted six attorneys in three of its offices around the country, celebrating the ongoing hard work and perseverance of its team. Effective July 1, 2020, the promotions include Alpaslan Sapmaz, Julie K. Skoge and Paige S. Stradley in Minneapolis; David D. Harrell and Michael S. Wagner in Denver; and Andrew O. Larsen, Ph.D., in New York.

“We are excited to expand our leadership and promote this group of excellent attorneys who have made a particular impact during the COVID-19 situation. Each attorney has exemplified the professionalism and ‘can do’ spirit that allows our firm to grow and be successful, especially when our clients need us most,” said Christopher J. Leonard, Merchant & Gould’s Managing Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. “Many industry leaders believe the pandemic crisis will historically spark a new innovation and technology movement. We agree, and these promotions bring greater depth to our practice groups in some of the most inventive industries across the country.”

Alpaslan Sapmaz, promoted to partner in the Minneapolis office, practices general intellectual property law with an emphasis on patent prosecution in the mechanical arts. His practice includes guiding clients through the patent process in bringing inventive concepts to granted patents under both U.S. and foreign patent law. Specifically, Alp has extensive experience in preparation and prosecution of patent applications and managing sizeable client patent portfolios. 

Julie K. Skoge, promoted to partner in the Minneapolis office, is a registered patent attorney who practices IP law with an emphasis on patent prosecution for both domestic and foreign clients.  A science background combined with a detail-oriented outlook and a talent for persuasive writing helps her prepare and prosecute strong patent applications for her clients in diverse mechanical and software technology fields, as well as software-based applications for product design and fabrication. 

Paige S. Stradley, promoted to partner in the Minneapolis office, handles a range of IP litigation involving patents (utility and design), copyrights, trademark, trade dress and false advertising disputes. Her litigation experience includes crafting briefs and orally advocating in court, managing and participating in all aspects of fact and expert discovery, and examining witnesses both fact and expert witnesses at trial.  In addition to litigation, Paige also counsels clients with respect to brand protection and engages in preventative analysis and review of designs and marketing and advertising campaigns. 

David D. Harrell, promoted to partner in the Denver office, is a registered patent attorney whose practice encompasses areas including software and information technology, computer technology, and Internet-related technologies. He specializes in patent preparation and prosecution, infringement analysis, and global IP portfolio development. David’s technical areas include programming, software analysis and development, operating systems and database design and implementation.

Michael S. Wagner, promoted to partner in the Denver office, is a registered patent attorney with experience that crosses all areas of IP, with an emphasis on patent prosecution, post-grant proceedings, licensing, opinions, litigation, and due diligence. He focuses on strategically acquiring and protecting intellectual property rights that fit the individual needs of his clients, which range from large international companies to local inventors.

Andrew O. Larsen, Ph.D., promoted to partner in the New York office, focuses his practice on Hatch-Waxman litigation, contested matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and general IP counseling. He primarily assists clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries with developing and strengthening their patent estates and their overall litigation strategy, including pre-litigation counseling, fact and expert discovery, claim construction analysis, deposition and motion practice, and assistance at trial.