Alan Carlson - Carlson Caspers


Phone: (612) 436-9616

Alan G. Carlson Best Lawyers Badge 2024 - Carlson Caspers
Alan Carlson Super Lawyers Badge - Carlson Caspers

Alan G. Carlson has specialized in intellectual property litigation since the inception of his legal career in 1971. His impressive 48 years of experience includes jury and bench trials throughout the United States for both plaintiffs and defendants in every type of intellectual property case. He has litigated cases dealing with copyright, contract, interference with contract, libel, patent, trademark, trade dress, and trade secret for many of Minnesota’s sizeable and innovative companies. Alan has appeared in federal, state, and district courts, in courts of appeal, and at the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Alan’s clients have included patent owners as well as patent challengers.

Alan has successfully led several multimillion-dollar jury verdicts in diverse technologies, including $30 million and $22.5 million decisions in patent cases, a $31 million jury verdict in a suit for interference with contract, and a $30 million settlement for a client in a patent case. Alan is also known for introducing new strategies for patent litigation that have now become commonplace in many cases.

Alan has also represented clients in numerous contested proceedings in the U.S. Patent Office, including more than a dozen Inter Partes review proceedings authorized under The America Invents Act.

In addition to his trial work, Alan advises clients on general intellectual property issues from a litigation viewpoint.

In 2003, Alan and other colleagues at Merchant & Gould (where he had been the managing partner) founded Carlson, Caspers, Vandenburgh, & Lindquist, P.A. Through his vision and leadership, the firm has grown to more than 30 attorneys and moved locations twice to accommodate the needs of clients, attorneys, and staff. Alan serves as a mentor to other attorneys and his leadership encourages firm attorneys to contribute to Twin Cities’ legal and civic organizations.

Most recently, Minnesota Monthly and Greenspring Media featured Alan in the 2020 Minnesota 500.

in 2019, Minnesota Lawyer and Finance & Commerce magazines recognized Alan as a MINNESOTA ICON. Alan is among an elite group of senior business leaders whose years of leadership, achievements, and contributions to the Minnesota business community are noteworthy. Carlson has built a stellar reputation for client success for Minnesota businesses and institutions, as well as across the country.

Alan was the first patent attorney in Minnesota inducted as a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers. The American College of Trial Lawyers invites the top 1% of the Bar as Fellows in the College. In that esteemed organization, there are fewer than a dozen registered patent attorneys who are active trial lawyers today. Carlson Caspers has two of those trial lawyers – being one of fewer than five firms in the nation with more than one Fellow.

In 1991, Alan was named one of “Minnesota’s Winningest Trial Lawyers,” by the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been included in the Minnesota Super Lawyers® list since 2003, as well as the Top 100 list consistently since 2009. In 2009, Minnesota Super Lawyers included him in the Top 10 Minnesota Super Lawyers list, and Minnesota Lawyer honored him as a “2009 Attorney of the Year.”

In 2019, Chambers USA ranked Alan as a Senior Statesman in Intellectual Property, Minnesota, and ranked Carlson Caspers as a leading law firm in Intellectual Property, Minnesota. Chambers USA has recognized him since 2005.

The Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering voted unanimously for Alan to receive the “Outstanding Mechanical Engineer (OME) Award” in 2018. The distinct honor is the highest recognition a Purdue Mechanical Engineering alumnus can receive. Honorees are selected who have shown outstanding character and leadership and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in industry, academia, governmental service, or other endeavors related to mechanical engineering.

Best Lawyers® continues to list Alan as a leading lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation beginning in 1991. In 2010, Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year, Intellectual Property Law–Minneapolis.” He is also regularly named as a top I.P. lawyer by other leading industry publications.

Alan is an active community leader. He has served on numerous boards over the years. He served on the board of directors for the Volunteer Legal Network (VLN) from 1995-2010. For the past six years, Alan has served on the board of directors for the Heart Institute Foundation.

An avid tennis player, Alan spends time on the court with clients and friends, and travels with his wife and family when he is not working on a case.


Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, and William Mitchell College of Law
J.D., cum laude

Purdue University
Pi Tau Sigma


Minnesota Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. Supreme Court