Experience and Background
Connie E. Merriett focuses her practice on patent and trade secret litigation for high technology companies, primarily in the computer, semiconductor, and electronics industries. She has served as the lead attorney on the entire range of pre-trial and trial matters and has developed especially strong experience in coordinating all phases of discovery, evaluating patent damages, Markman hearings, and in handling all phases of trial preparation for technically complex cases. Ms. Merriett also has experience with cases involving software copyright issues and trademark issues.
Ms. Merriett is a courtroom veteran who has appeared in federal and state courts throughout the country. She recently argued a successful motion, under 35 U.S.C. section 285, for attorneys fees in a high-profile patent case on behalf of computer-maker Gateway. On behalf of computer-maker Acer, Ms. Merriett played an integral role in a multi-patent litigation in the Western District of Wisconsin. She developed the non-infringement and invalidity analyses for a patent relating to technology for computer touch pads, managed discovery, and briefed and argued the Markman hearing.
Ms. Merriett served as a law clerk to the Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and as a judicial extern to the Honorable David Briones of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. While in law school, she was a national finalist in the Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Patent Moot Court Competition, for which she received a "best brief" award and argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Complementing Ms. Merriett's experience in intellectual property litigation is her experience representing companies in securities, commercial, and licensing disputes. She also has successfully resolved a number of cases through alternative dispute channels, including arbitration and mediation.
Ms. Merriett previously served in the California Air National Guard and received the California Commendation Medal for her service. She was also a recipient of the 2009 Samuel E. Klein Pro Bono Award in recognition of exceptional commitment to providing pro bono legal services.
- Chair, Law and Technology Committee, American Bar Association
- Board of Governors Member, UC Hastings Alumni Association
Bar and Court Admissions
- Member, California Bar
- Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California
-- The Quantum World Corporation v. Atmel Corporation; Lenovo (United States) Inc.; Lenovo Group Limited; Winbond Electronics Corporation; Winbond Electronics Corporation America; National Semiconductor Corporation; IBM Corporation (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas). Represent computer-maker Lenovo in case relating to allegations that certain Lenovo products infringe patents related to integrated circuit technology. Pending.
-- Acer Inc v. Hewlett-Packard Co. (U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin). Represented Acer in multi-patent litigation involving several areas of computer technology, including I/O systems, touch pads, device drivers, and power management.
-- Lucent v. Gateway, Inc. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of California). Represented Gateway in multi-patent suit in which Microsoft and Dell were co-defendants. The National Law Journal singled out the case when the publication named Dechert to its annual "Defense Hot List," which recognizes just 10 firms nationally for "exemplary, cutting-edge work in civil defense." The patents related to video, audio, and speech compression technology, handheld devices, caller ID, software and other computer technologies.
-- Synopsys v. Magma (U.S. District Court, District of Delaware and Northern District of California). Represented Synopsys in patent infringement cases involving software for automatic design of integrated circuits.
-- SMSC v. Winbond (California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara). Represented SMSC in trade secret dispute involving I/O systems.
-- Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. v. Intersil Corporation et al. (California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara). Represented Intersil in trade secret dispute involving linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits.
University of California, Davis, B.A., 1998; recipient of the Joyce and Norman Weil Scholarship and the Charles Linderman Scholarship for Participatory Democracy, Campaign Management Institute
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2002; Executive Editor of the Hastings Law Journal, national finalist in the Giles Sutherland Rich Intellectual Property Patent Moot Court Competition (argued before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit), recipient of Percy C. Towne Scholarship
Publications and Lectures
- Presenter, "Ivize Mock Trial Seminar on Admissibility of Electronic Information," Palo Alto, CA (Oct. 21, 2008)
- "Staying Up in a Down Market," Hastings Summer Career Series, San Francisco, CA (July 31, 2008)
- "U-Haul Int'l, Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc., Wells Fargo Co. v. WhenU.com, Inc., and 1-800 Contacts Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc.: Pop-Up Advertising as 'Use in Commerce' Under the Lanham Act: A Case Analysis," 20 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L.J. 1113 (May 2004) (with co-author)