Tchao J. Thao, M.D.

3200 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
D: 612.336.4633
Contact My Assistant
Anne-Marie Larkin
D: 612.336.4752


University of Minnesota
Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences, 2012, 2013
J.D., cum laude

Harvard University
B.A. Biology, 2005

Phillips Exeter Academy
Benigno Aquino Scholar, 2001

Bar and Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2013
Minnesota State Bar, 2012

Professional Affiliations

Minnesota State Bar Association
Hmong American Bar Association - Board of Directors
Harvard Alumni Association
Phillips Exeter Alumni Association

Awards & Recognition

Dean Distinguished Scholar
Royal Stone Scholar
Dean’s List
Book Award for highest grade in Tort
Intellectual Property Moot Court

Publications & Speaking

A Primer on Patents: Maintaining a Competitive Edge, MN VA Health Care Systems, January 30, 2015


Tchao works out of Merchant & Gould’s Minneapolis office.  He practices all areas of intellectual property law with an emphasis on patent infringement litigation, patent prosecution, and patent opinion work.

Tchao represents clients in all areas of technology including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, software, athletic equipment, and home care products.  His clients range from large Fortune 100 companies to startups with one employee.   

Tchao was a Royal Stone Scholar at the University of Minnesota’s Joint Degree Program in Law, Health, and the Life Science where he received both his medical and law degrees.  As part of his medical training, he assisted and performed numerous surgeries, procedures, as well as diagnosed, managed, and treated various diseases. His medical training gives him an understanding of the nuances behind the science, practice, and technology of modern medicine. In addition, his work as a clinician gives him the skills to distill complex ideas into easily understandable and persuasive concepts.

Prior to medical and law school, Tchao attended boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire.  He received his undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard University.  At Harvard, Tchao worked at Harvard Medical School where he researched the impact of the Sox-9 gene in cell-type determination and differentiation. 

In his free time, Tchao enjoys film, video games, and watching sports.    

Judicial Externship

Judicial Extern to the Honorable Richard H. Kyle, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

Leadership & Civic Involvement

March of Dimes - Minnesota Chapter
   Member, Board of Directors