Christopher J. Leonard

Managing Director, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
9717 Cogdill Road, Suite 101
Knoxville, TN 37932
D: 865.380.5975
150 South Fifth Street, Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
D: 612.332.5300
Contact My Assistant
Megan Fee
D: 865.380.5964


Harvard Business School
    Graduate - General Management Program, 2006
Georgia Institute of Technology
    Certificate, Software Engineering, 2001
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
    Graduate - National Session, 1999
University of Tennessee College of Law
    J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 1994
        Associate Editor, Tennessee Law Review, 1992-1994
        Howard H. Baker, Sr. Memorial Scholar, 1993-1994
 University of Tennessee
    B.S., Industrial Engineering, high honors, 1986

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 1997
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1997
Georgia State Bar, 1996
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 1996
Tennessee State Bar, 1994

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Georgia
    Intellectual Property Section
Tennessee Bar Association
American Bar Association
    Intellectual Property Section
American Intellectual Property Law Association
Federal Circuit Bar Association

Publications & Speaking

Chris's practice is focused on counseling clients on matters relating to software, e-commerce, telecommunications and traditional electrical and mechanical technologies. His practice encompasses U.S. and foreign patent prosecution, patent infringement and validity analysis, and licensing counseling. Chris also has extensive litigation experience in all areas of Intellectual Property law, including patent, trademark, unfair competition and copyright.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Chris served as an Officer in the United States Air Force, where he worked with the ground-launched cruise missile weapon system. In that position, he was selected to lead Soviet weapons inspectors through detailed inspections of U.S. nuclear weapons systems in accordance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.


All Media
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Welcome Three Attorneys
Merchant & Gould is pleased to welcome three attorneys to its legal tem, spanning two offices.  The new hires include Rachel Hammond and Zach Kachmer in Denver, and Lindsay Jones in Minneapolis.“These three attorneys bring IP experience in growing ...
Press Releases
Inside Merchant & Gould’s New Office in Downtown Minneapolis
Merchant & Gould, a national intellectual property (IP) law firm headquartered in Minneapolis, relocated its office today to a more collaborative space that’s better suited for its current practice, innovative culture, future growth and ongoing client ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Presents Check to Scholarship Winner at 2019 True Value Charity Classic
Merchant & Gould was proud to attend its client’s namesake event, True Value Charity Classic – attending activities, helping raise money for the True Value Foundation, matching a donation, and presenting a check to the scholarship winner.  ...
Press Releases
Eric Chad, Partner, Merchant & Gould P.C. Has Earned CIPP/US Certification
Eric Chad, Partner, Merchant & Gould P.C., has earned the ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) credential through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Eric counsels clients on a variety ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould’s Chairman Emeritus Elected as Treasurer of AIPLA
Merchant & Gould congratulates Brian Batzli, partner and chairman emeritus, for his  role with the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), a national bar association that helps establish and maintain fair and effective laws and policies. Brian ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Promotes Five Attorneys to Partners in Three Office Locations
Merchant & Gould promoted five attorneys in three of its offices around the country -- a great way to launch the New Year.  The promotions include Eric R. Chad, Mark L. Gleason and Anneliese S. Mayer in Minneapolis; Ryan J. Fletcher, Ph.D., in Denver; ...
Press Releases
George Lewis Elected to Merchant & Gould’s Executive Committee
Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce that George C. Lewis, P.E., partner, who initially joined the Denver office in 1999, has been elected to the firm’s Executive Committee for a two-year term, effective Jan. 1, 2019.  He replaces Tony Zeuli ...
Press Releases

Long-time Merchant & Gould attorney John (“Jack”) Clifford will transition his full-time practice into a part

Long-time Merchant & Gould attorney John (“Jack”) Clifford will transition his full-time practice into a part-time, “of counsel” role, effective Jan. 2.  Jack started his career at Merchant & Gould in 1981; and, for 38 ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Hires Four Associates in Three Office Locations
Merchant & Gould is pleased to welcome four associates to three of its offices around the country.  The new hires span the last few months and include Christopher Tebow, Ph.D., in Minneapolis; Peter Selness in Minneapolis;  Roderick O’Dorisio ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Welcomes Chris Leonard as New CEO
Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce that Christopher J. Leonard—managing partner of the firm’s Knoxville, Tennessee, office—will succeed Brian H. Batzli as the CEO, Managing Director, and Chairman of the Board on July 1, 2018.After ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Partner Chris J. Leonard Graduates From Harvard Business School General Management Program
Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm, is pleased to announce that Chris J. Leonard, partner and chair of the firm's electrical and software practice group, has graduated from the Harvard Business School General Management Program.Leonard, ...