Merchant & Gould Welcomes One Partner and Two Associates in Minneapolis Office

October 20, 2022

Merchant & Gould is pleased to have welcomed one partner and two associates to its Minneapolis team: Christian J. Hansen, partner; Heather S. Chatterton, associate; and Ariel O. Howe, associate.

“These three attorneys bring IP experience in growing industries for Minnesota, adding depth to our practice groups and helping local and global innovators protect their brands and technologies. They are excellent additions to our firm and leaders in the IP community,” said Christopher J. Leonard, Managing Director and CEO of Merchant & Gould.

Christian, partner and experienced IP attorney, provides enforcement strategies and patent protection for both domestic and international clients. For more than 10 years, he has helped a range of large corporations and small startups with their technological innovations and ideas in some of the following industries: manufacturing, consumer products, aerospace, computer software, medical devices, electrical vehicles, agriculture, and metallurgy. Christian focuses on drafting and preparing patent applications; following up with the USPTO; and negotiating licensing agreements to monetize patent applications. He also provides client counsel, including freedom-to-operate, clearance, and non-infringement opinions.  Christian received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. magna cum laude from the William Mitchell College of Law.

Heather, associate, supports inventors and companies through patent prosecution. She began her career as a patent agent; and, now, as an attorney applying that experience, develops patent strategies and defending patents before the USPTO. Heather works with clients in a wide range of industries, including software, mechanics, medical device, and biotech. She received three degrees from the University of Minnesota, including a B.S. in genetics, cell biology, and development; an M.S. in patent law; and a J.D. from the Law School.

Ariel, associate, helps companies protect their intellectual property through strategy and litigation. Her practice includes utility and design patents, trademark, trade secret, and copyright litigation, as well as pre-litigation support. Ariel has enforced and defended many industries, including medical device, pharmaceutical, HVAC, and farming equipment. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from Minnesota State University and her J.D. magna cum laude from the William Mitchell College of Law.