Elisabeth "Bette" S. Muirhead

She / Her / Hers
150 South Fifth Street, Suite 2200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
D: 612.371.5386
Contact My Assistant
Yeng Yang
D: 612.336.4772

Elisabeth (Bette) emphasizes strategically addressing her clients’ current issues and identifying future ones before they become a problem. She practices in Merchant & Gould’s litigation practice group. Working out of the firm’s Minneapolis office, Bette’s practice centers around patent litigation and appellate work.

A Strategic Litigator and Counselor

Bette approaches each client with the goal of creating and pursuing smart strategies to protect and further the client’s intellectual property portfolios. With each new issue or challenge that arises, she looks at every angle before counseling on the best available solutions.

For Bette, it is never just about resolving the most pressing issue. Instead, it is about taking a long-term approach to litigation; she ensures the steps she takes today supports her clients’ future goals and needs. 

Additionally, Bette has a keen ability to quickly identify the right answers for her clients’ many questions. This skill proves invaluable to clients as they continue to create and build their IP portfolios and their businesses.

A Biologist Turned Patent Litigator

Bette began her career not as a lawyer, but as a biologist and environmental chemist. She sought a biology degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, before pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Chemistry from James Cook University in Australia. Her educational pursuits led her quickly into the field of medical device manufacturing.

After working for Beckman Coulter, a leading research and discovery firm, Bette wanted to take her career further while also pushing herself to new heights and challenges. This led her to the University of Chicago Law School, where she combined her passions for science, logic, and educational excellence.

After law school, Bette clerked for the Honorable Joan H. Lefkow of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. There, she honed her writing and analytical skills and gained practical knowledge in the ins and outs of litigation in a federal district court.

An Active Lifestyle

Bette has always led an active lifestyle, ranging from participating in crew to playing intramural soccer and volleyball in college and beyond to now being a certified rescue (SCUBA) diver. She also loves to travel, which she does with her husband and stepdaughter. A true Minnesotan, Bette loves to spend time at the lake with her family.


The University of Chicago Law School
   J.D., 2016
   Executive editor, Chicago Journal of International Law, 2015 - 2016

James Cook University - Townsville, Queensland (Australia)
   MSc Environmental Chemistry, 2009

University of Puget Sound
   B.S. Biology, 2004


State of Illinois
State of Minnesota

Publications & Speaking


A Marked Improvement: False Marking and the AIA, The Federal Lawyer, Jan-Feb 2015.

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. Joan H. Lefkow, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017


All Media
CAFC Affirms Invalidity Under Pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(b)
CAFC Holds New Algorithm Not Required for “Inventive Concept”
CAFC Affirms Board’s Obviousness Finding for Acne Treatment
News Alerts
Merchant & Gould Congratulates Sheila Niaz as the Firm’s Pro Bono Award Winner
Merchant & Gould’s Pro Bono Committee announced the firm’s 2021 Pro Bono Awards to attorneys who have dedicated their time to helping their communities through pro bono legal services and their deep commitment. A special congratulations ...
CAFC Affirms Biogen Patent is Invalid for Lack of Written Description
Breaking the Ice: IP attorney, colleagues earn pro bono recognition
Merchant & Gould partner Tony Zeuli says volunteering with Children’s Law Center (CLC) to represent foster children in court is a rewarding experience for him and Minneapolis colleagues.Zeuli, a CLC board member, accepted the nonprofit’s Distinguished ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Receives Distinguished Service Award from Children’s Law Center of Minnesota
Merchant & Gould was honored by the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) with the Distinguished Service Award at its 26th Anniversary Virtual Benefit on Oct. 7.The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to one law firm or corporation ...
CAFC Holds Apple Lacks Standing to Appeal IPR Decision
No Abuse of Discretion in Abstention Despite Issues of Validity Being Raised
35 U.S.C. § 101: Reports of its death are exaggerated
Merchant & Gould attorneys Rachel Zimmerman Scobie and Elisabeth Muirhead co-authored a Minnesota Lawyer article titled "35 U.S.C. § 101: Reports of its death are exaggerated." The article examines two recent decisions by the U.S. Court ...
Press Releases
Merchant & Gould Hires Three Associates in Minneapolis
Merchant & Gould is pleased to welcome new associate attorneys Laura L. Hupp, Joseph W. Dubis, Ph.D., and Elisabeth K. Muirhead to its Minneapolis office. Laura Hupp, previously from McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. of Des Moines, Iowa, and Shook, ...