Scott Flaherty is a member of the Intellectual Property group and practices principally in the areas of intellectual property, complex commercial, regulatory and criminal matters.
Intellectual Property & Technology
Scott is licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. He has substantial intellectual property, technology and data law experience before state, federal and administrative courts, including:
- Defended surgical-device company against claims of patent infringement and fraudulent transfer of intellectual property and against temporary restraining order.
- Represented plaintiff in patent and trademark litigation regarding commercial-printing technologies.
- Negotiated patent licenses from federal government for biotechnology company.
- Representation of engineering firm in investigating and litigating against former employees who took hundreds of thousands of digital files and started a competing enterprise.
- Defended national marketing company against claims of trade dress, copyright infringement and unfair competition.
- Advised client regarding multi-state data breach response and remediation, avoiding civil litigation and criminal charges.
- Represented a technology journalist in data-practices-act suit against a county and its sheriff, resulting in the imposition of the maximum fine allowed by law.
Complex Civil, Regulatory & Criminal Matters
Scott has a range of business litigation experience, especially at the intersection of regulatory and criminal laws. Examples include:
- Secured a TRO in litigation involving real estate fraud and coordinated with governmental authority’s related investigation.
- Represented business owner in connection with Ponzi scheme allegations; avoided prosecution and settled civil claims on a confidential basis without litigation.
- Regularly counsels and defends clients on antitrust matters including pricing issues, purchasing groups, participation in standard-setting organizations and communications with competitors.
- Successful representation of national distribution company in connection with supply chain litigation involving consumer chemicals.
- Secured summary judgment for supercomputer manufacturer against warranty claim for more than $850,000.
- Defending owner of nursing care agency against felony charges of $2.7 million medical-assistance fraud.
- Obtained a new trial for owner of a recreational-boating company in connection with allegations of failure to pay state funds, failure to pay income tax, failure to file a tax return and theft exceeding $750,000.
- Won a 137-page order dismissing all criminal charges in connection with the Black Lives Matter rally at the Mall of America in December 2014.
Scott has substantial experience in state and federal appellate courts. Examples include:
- Vacated fraudulent-transfer judgments totaling over $1.2 million entered against a CEO and a related corporation.
- Obtained a new trial, and eventual dismissal, from the Minnesota Supreme Court for a client who had been convicted under an unconstitutional statute.
- Secured affirmance from Iowa Court of Appeals of recovery on breach-of-contract claim involving interstate trucking services.
- Convinced the Minnesota Supreme Court to overrule 20 years’ of case law on immunity and reinstate lawsuit brought by owner of a health clinic against governmental investigator.
Pro Bono and Community Involvement
Scott serves children through the Children's Law Center and represents adults pro bono through the Federal Bar Association's Pro Se Project and the Volunteer Lawyers Network.
Scott is an active leader in the community. He serves on the board of the ACLU-MN, Minnesota’s leading civil-liberties group, and on the board of St. Paul’s Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, an African-American, nonprofit social-service agency. Scott chairs Hallie Q. Brown’s Programs and Public-Policy Committee. He also is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, teaching appellate advocacy.
Scott is the former chair of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, and a former member of the board of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association and its former newsletter editor.
Before becoming an attorney, Scott worked in the IT department of a bank holding company and then as a researcher studying cellular signaling pathways in mammalian cells.
While in law school, Scott was the executive editor for the Journal of Corporation Law. Following law school he served as a clerk for the Honorable Kevin G. Ross of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer (2017)
Up & Coming Attorney, Minnesota Lawyer (2016)
Social Justice Award, National Lawyers Guild of Minnesota (2016)
North Star Lawyer, Minnesota State Bar Association
Honoree, Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2020)
Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Intellectual Property, (2020)
All Service Areas
- University of Iowa College of Law
- Washington University in St. Louis
B.S., magna cum laude
- State - Alaska
- State - Iowa
- State - Minnesota
- Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
- Federal - Northern District of Iowa
- Federal - Southern District of Iowa
- Federal - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal - District of Minnesota
- Regularly provides outside general counsel services and IP counseling services to clients in scientific and technical industries.
- On an interlocutory basis, convinced appellate court to reverse entry of judgment on the pleadings against client, and instead to order judgment for client on the question of whether certain subsidiaries were protected from patent infringement by a prior license.
- On appeal, successfully reversed of adverse patent claim construction and vacation of non-infringement summary judgment for a telecommunications hardware company.
- Represented civil engineering firm in connection with sudden departure of nearly two dozen employees who took hundreds of thousands of electronic documents and immediately began competing with their former employer.
- Represented defendant in patent infringement action relating to electronic pollbook systems.
- Represented defendants in trademark infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices act litigation.
- Provided outside general counsel services to of a startup consumer products company.
- Represented financial lending company sued by clawback defendants in Ponzi scheme related litigation.
- Represented national consumer electronics company in patent infringement suit venued in the Central District of California.
- Represented owner of medical device companies in connection with accusations of fraudulent transfer of patent and intellectual property rights.
- Represented plaintiff in trademark and patent litigation related to thermal printing technologies.
- Regularly represents clients in drafting and negotiating various technology licenses and software-development agreements.
- Resisted a temporary restraining order asserting infringement of patent covering surgical device.
- Served as trial and appellate counsel for defendant in four-patent, multimillion dollar infringement dispute brought by competitor. Appellate judgment resulted in complete victory for defendant.
- Brought action under Minn. Stat § 80E.14 that prevented addition of automobile dealership within client's relevant market area.
- Defended company involved in the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme litigation for which substantial amounts are being sought under clawback theories.
- Defended former regional manager and new employer in action by former employer seeking damages and injunctive relief relating to manager's noncompetition agreement.
- Obtained dismissal of claims RICO and Conspiracy Claims against group of related corporate and individual defendants.
Speeches and Publications
- "Mastering the Basics of Third-Party Litigation Funding" and "Leveraging Lessons Learned in the Real World (moderator)," Third-Party Litigation Financing: Real World Business, Legal and Ethical Tips, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, Jan. 28.
- Chapter 7: Effect of Appeal, Stays, and Supersedeas (8th Circuit Appellate Practice Manual)
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association
- Lavender Bar Association
- Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission