Brent E. Routman

150 South Fifth Street, Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
D: 612.336.4619
Contact My Assistant
Andrea Endris
D: 612.371.5370

As an inventor and patent owner who has always been interested in advocating for the rights of others, Brent was practically destined to wind up practicing intellectual property law. He practices trademark, copyright, Internet, and advertising law, and represents clients in domain name disputes and litigation. Prior to joining Merchant & Gould, Brent practiced commercial litigation and immigration law in South Florida and worked for the Universities of Miami and Georgia. This broad experience allows him to counsel clients in strategic business decisions using a comprehensive, holistic approach that goes beyond their narrow IP needs.

Brent also has significant experience in International IP law and is the partner responsible for coordinating trademark work to and from Asia. Because Merchant & Gould has made it a priority to advise clients with a full understanding of international strategies, Brent has also developed a deep experience in international patent protection issues, including treaties and the laws of various countries.

Brent is a Past President of the Minnesota State Bar Association, former chair of the Patent Division of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section, past member of the ABA  House of Delegates, and twice a recipient of the statewide Attorneys of the Year Award presented by Minnesota Lawyer Magazine. His long record of service stems from his belief that attorneys have a unique responsibility and role in the community to educate the public, ensure access to justice, better the laws, and sustain the court system. He enjoys working cooperatively with Supreme Court Justices, legislators, non-profits, and other people and organizations who share mutual goals.

Brent serves as General Counsel for Merchant & Gould, advising the firm's attorneys on ethical implications and best practices and working to enhance attorney-client relationships.

A frequent international traveler, Brent has been to 30 countries and counting. He takes voice lessons, plays poker, and goes camping in his spare time.



Cleveland State University College of Law
J.D., 1982

Ohio University
A.B. Psychology, cum laude, 1979


Minnesota State Bar, 1996
Florida State Bar, 1983
U.S. District Courts
   District of Minnesota
   Middle District of Florida
   Southern District of Florida

Professional Affiliations

Minnesota State Bar Association
    President, 2011-2012
    President-Elect, 2010-2011
    Council, 2010-present
    Assembly, 2008-present
    Governance Committee, 2008-present

Hennepin County Bar Association
    Co-Chair, Nominating Committee (2008)
    Past President (2005-present); President (2004-2005); President-Elect (2003-2004)
    Member, Executive Committee (2001-2006)
    Treasurer (2002-2003); Secretary (2001-2002)
    Member, Ethics Committee (1997-present)
    Chair, Professional Conduct and Professionalism Committee (1997-2000)

American Bar Association
    Member, House of Delegates (2007-2008)
    Intellectual Property Section:
    Co-Chair, Patent and Trademark Office Affairs, Trademark (2004-2005)
    Chair, Information Division (2003-2004)
    Chair, Patent Division (2002-2003)
    Chair, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee (2000-2002)
    Chair, Special Committee on Global Patent Costs (1998-2000)
    Representative at the meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization Standing  
    Committee on Patent Law (May 2001, Geneva, Switzerland)
    Representative at the Fifth International Symposium on Intellectual Property
       (February 2001, Paris, France)
    ABA Observer to the First Diplomatic Conference on Patent Law Treaty
       (May 2000, Geneva, Switzerland) culminating in the signing of the Patent Law Treaty

American Intellectual Property Law Association
    Past Member, AIPLA Trademark Legislation Committee

International Trademark Law Association (INTA)
    Member, Treaty Analysis Committee
    Past Member, Issues and Policy Committee

Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL)

Awards & Recognition

Selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™
Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2006-2007, 2011-2016
Attorney of the Year 2004 and 2011, one of only 15 attorneys to be so recognized statewide more than once by Minnesota Lawyer
AV peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell
Invited to serve on Board of Advisors of Cincinnati Intellectual Property and Computer Law Journal at the University of Cincinnati College of Law

Leadership and Civic Involvement

Founder, LINC (Leaders Impacting the Non Profit Community), a six-month intensive training program for attorneys and other professionals re serving as volunteer directors and leaders in the non profit sector 1994-2007

Past Public Service Committee member and Past Chair of the Domestic Violence Subcommittee of the Cardozo Society of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation

Coalition for Impartial Justice
    President 2010-2011
    LawPAC, Political Action Committee
    Chairman 2009-2012

Minnesota Volunteer Attorney Program
    President, 2010-2011

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Publications & Speaking


Moderator and Speaker, International Foreign/IP Practice Issues—Export Controls, Patent Consultation Group Roundtable, Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Chicago, August 2016

Speaker, The Civil Justice System: What Lies Ahead, and How It Will Affect You, December 2011 

Speaker, “Parliamentary Procedure and Leading a Meeting,” 2009, 2010

“Effectively Leading a Meeting,” presented at the 2005, 2006, 2008 LINC Program

Speaker, Ethics in IP Practice, Minnesota CLE Webcast, March 2009

Facilitator, International Trademark Association Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany May 2008

Moderator, Baby Boomers Confronting New Responsibilities: How to Take Care of Aging Parents, Hennepin County Bar Association, January 2008

Keynote Speaker, Patent Cooperation Treaty A-Z, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 2006


Monthly Presidential Columns in Bench & Bar Magazine, July 2011-June 2012

Contributor, Strategies for Foreign Patenting of U.S. Inventions, Matthew Bender / Lexis Treatise on Intellectual Property, December 2009

Copyright for Associations and Organizations, Minnesota Society of Association Executives, April 2006

PCT and the International Patent System, William Mitchell College of Law, February 2006 (transcription of presentation published in the William Mitchell Law Review Vol. 32 Issue 4)

Brent Routman Letter to Governor Pawlenty, Minnesota Lawyer - July 2004

Madrid Protocol, Music to a Trademark Owner's Ears, EuroWatch, Volume 14 Number 15, August 15, 2002

How Changes at the European Patent Office Are Affecting American Applicants, EuroWatch, Volume 14 Number 6, March 31, 2002

Contributor, An Examination Of The United States American Bar Association's Past Actions And How They May Relate To The Commission Of The European Communities Proposal For A Council Regulation On The Community Patent, 5th International IP Symposium, AIPLA/ICC, Paris, France, February 2001

Dispensable Anachronisms of the Past in United States Patent Law; 4th International Symposium on Reduction of Patent Costs; FICPI/AIPLA; The Hague, The Netherlands, 1999


Talking smoke detector offers safety, by: Jim Hannerand, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, November 9, 2012


All Media
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Is Recognized by World Trademark Review for Its “Outstanding and Reliable” Work and IP Leaders in Minnesota
Merchant & Gould is proud to be recognized in the “United States: Minnesota” category in World Trademark Review’s 2019 research directory, WTR 1000, a peer-feedback-based resource which spotlights firms and attorneys that are deemed “outstanding” ...
Hot Topics, Trends, & Updates: Cybersecurity, Patent Litigation Decisions, and the Implications
  Merchant & Gould Presents Hot ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Recognized by World Trademark Review
Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce its Gold rating in the World Trademark Review list of the world's top trademark firms and attorneys for 2018. The firm and four of its trademark attorneys were again ranked in United States: Minnesota. ...
ALAS CLE presentation
Please join us for a CLE presentation from ALAS.
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Announces 2012 Super Lawyers in Minnesota
Anthony R. Zeuli Named Among Top 100 Super Lawyers in Minnesota Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, today announced that the following attorneys in its Minneapolis office have been named 2012 Super Lawyers. Recognized excellence in ...
Doing Well By Doing Good: Pro Bono Representation
Click here to read Brent Routman's article in the June 2012 issue of Minnesota Monthly.
Press Releases
Brent E. Routman Named Attorney of the Year By Minnesota Lawyer
Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, is pleased to announce that Minnesota Lawyer has selected Brent E. Routman as one of its honorees for the Attorney of the Year 2011 award. Routman specializes in trademark, copyright, internet ...
Press Releases
Brent E. Routman of Merchant & Gould Sworn in as President of Minnesota State Bar Association
Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, today announced that Brent E. Routman has been officially sworn in as president for the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA). His term begins on July 1, 2011. Routman is the first intellectual property ...
Press Releases
Brent E. Routman of Merchant & Gould Named President-Elect of Minnesota State Bar Association
First Intellectual Property Lawyer to Head Organization of 16,000 Attorneys Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, today announced that Brent E. Routman has been named president-elect for the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA). He is ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Attorneys Named 2006 Super Lawyers by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine
Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property and litigation law firm, announced the following attorneys were recognized as Super Lawyers in the August/September issue of Minnesota Law & Politics magazine.Brian H. Batzli Steven C. Bruess John ...
Press Releases
Brent Routman Recognized as Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property and litigation law firm, is pleased to announce that Brent Routman, a partner at the firm, has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. (ABF).Recognition as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation ...
Press Releases
Brent E. Routman of Merchant & Gould Named an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer
Brent E. Routman of Merchant & Gould was selected by the editors of Minnesota Lawyer as an Attorney of the Year for 2004. Routman, a practicing intellectual property attorney and Merchant & Gould's chief operating officer, is one of 15 ...
HCBA-backed initiative aims to help lawyers aid nonprofits
Letter to Governor Pawlenty