MINNEAPOLIS, April 8, 2004 - John Gould, one of Minnesota's pioneers in the practice of patent law and litigation, has marked his 50th anniversary with the firm that bears his name, Merchant & Gould.
"John has had a profound effect on this firm and its attorneys," said Randy King, CEO and managing director, Merchant & Gould. "Merchant & Gould is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the country as a direct result of John's commitment and vision, and many of our lawyers point to John's mentorship over the years as a key factor in their success. With John's leadership and insight, we will continue to grow this firm in the 21st century.
Gould was the first-ever patent law clerk at Honeywell before he joined what would eventually become Merchant & Gould. He was hired by Ralph Merchant in 1954 at a monthly salary of $300 and a billing rate of $15 an hour. He was made a name partner in the firm just a few years later.
When Gould joined Merchant & Gould in 1954 it had only two attorneys, and he credits the firm's growth to a specific long-term strategy.
"It's been very satisfying, both personally and professionally, to see the firm grow from two attorneys in Minneapolis to over 100 in five U.S. cities," said Gould. "That's a direct result of our focus, from our early days as a firm, on hiring only the best. While other firms grew to three or four attorneys and then split, we saw it as being crucial to our growth to stay together and build."
Gould, who received the prestigious Professionalism Award from the Hennepin County Bar Association in 2000, also feels the firm's focus on being a full-service intellectual property firm has had a great impact on its development.
"We never thought of ourselves as a boutique or niche firm. We've been able to create and maintain our position because we are full-service across all of the disciplines involved in intellectual property law, and we offer that depth to clients."
Merchant & Gould is celebrating Gould's milestone with a tribute evening for staff, family, and friends of the firm.