John T. Winemiller

Firm: Merchant & Gould P.C
Location: Knoxville -TN

  • 9717 Cogdill Road, Suite 101
    Knoxville, TN 37932
  • Tel : 865.380.5960
  • Fax : 612.332.9081

John is an intellectual property attorney and the Managing Partner of Merchant & Gould’s Knoxville office. His practice centers on patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright litigation, but also includes IP licensing issues and trademark, patent, and copyright counseling and prosecution. He has represented clients in a broad range of industries, from electrical switches and electronic pet products, to hosiery manufacturers and home builders. He has secured favorable trial and pre-trial results and significant settlement wins in disputes in federal courts. He also has extensive experience with commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and appeals in state and federal courts. His ability to understand and articulate complex concepts in a way that decision-makers can understand helps him to proactively and effectively assist his clients in protecting their intellectual property assets.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, John received an M.A. and Ph.D. in music history and theory from the University of Chicago, where he taught before joining the faculty of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. John’s academic research focused on the nexus between the creative process and eighteenth-century conceptions of intellectual property. His fascination with the theory of ownership of ideas led him to law school and, ultimately, to Merchant & Gould. Before entering private practice, he clerked for federal judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

John is an active member of several bar associations and serves on committees of the Tennessee Bar Association and the Knoxville Bar Association. He is a member of the Board of Commissioners for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, a post to which he was appointed in 2014. He is also a member of the boards of directors for the Big Ears Festival, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. John represents individuals, arts groups, and civil rights groups, pro bono, and is a sought-after writer, speaker, and teacher on intellectual property, civil procedure, and litigation matters. He serves on the strategic planning and diversity committees at the firm. In his spare time, John enjoys reading, historic preservation, music performance, cooking, exercise, and travel.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Member, Chancellor’s Associates (University of Tennessee), 2020
  • Member, Leadership Knoxville, Class of 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2011-2020
  • Selected for inclusion in Knoxville’s Top Attorneys in CityView Magazine, 2014-2020
  • Award of Merit Recipient, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


  • University of Tennessee College of Law
    J.D., summa cum laude, 2000
    Order of the Coif
    Editor in Chief, Tennessee Law Review
  • University of Chicago
    Ph.D. Music History and Theory, 1994
    M.A. Music History and Theory, 1991
  • Carleton College
    B.A. Music History and Theory, magna cum laude, 1988


  • Tennessee State Bar
  • Eastern District of Tennessee
  • Middle District of Tennessee
  • Western District of Tennessee
  • Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Merchant & Gould P.C

Merchant & Gould is a full-service intellectual property law firm that has focused exclusively on IP law since it was founded in 1900.

As the pace of global innovation surges, intellectual property has become an increasingly integral and valuable part of business. Merchant & Gould helps sole inventors, emerging and established companies, universities, venture capitalists, and Fortune 500 and 100 companies stay ahead of the curve to gain leverage in new and existing markets. Our team of over 100 attorneys, registered patent agents, and technical experts thrive on the complex, the simple, the creative, the big picture, and the microscopic details that position our clients for business success locally, nationally, and around the world.

Merchant & Gould is distinctly qualified and passionate about partnering with our clients to achieve their goals.  We bring a mix of deep technical experience, exceptional trial advocacy skills, and an affordable rate structure to provide valuable, highly effective and cost-efficient representation.  Merchant & Gould is distinguished by:

  • Unparalleled technical experience:  Merchant & Gould has focused exclusively on intellectual property for over a century. From the beginning, we have dedicated ourselves to finding the best solution, no matter where it takes us. The one constant: our clients’ challenges. We understand these challenges because our attorneys have an unmatched depth of knowledge in all aspects of intellectual property.
  • Unmatched value:  As an intellectual property boutique, approximately half of our firm-wide practice involves securing, licensing, maintaining, and counseling relative to intellectual property matters while the other half handles litigation and trial practice. Our lawyers bring an inherent global perspective and use creative strategies designed to expand on the potential of new ideas and to capitalize on opportunities that go beyond even our clients’ toughest expectations. We are Guardians of Great Ideas®.
  • Lasting partnerships:  At Merchant & Gould, the long term relationships that we build with our clients are critical to our success.  As a result, we seek to actively partner with clients to understand, build, and implement technology and intellectual property driven strategies that add bottom-line business value.  The depth and breadth of our legal and technical knowledge coupled with years of experience in helping clients create and strategically manage global intellectual property assets uniquely positions us to be a valued member of your team.
  • Commitment to Diversity: Merchant & Gould is not only dedicated to promoting diversity within the Firm, we are dedicated to living it. Our professionals and staff mirror that of our clients and position us to look at each issue with fresh eyes and varied lenses. The varied perspectives and collaborative environment contribute to our success in finding unique solutions to our clients’ challenges and adding value to their bottom line.