Christopher A. Pinahs



Christopher Pinahs practices intellectual property law, with an emphasis on patent and trademark litigation. Applying his background in the biological sciences, Chris has extensive experience representing clients in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and agricultural arts. In all arenas, Chris uses his technical background to help clients develop their case and implement an appropriate strategy to achieve their business goals.  

Chris has significant trial experience, including the representation of a generic manufacturer in its challenge of several patents directed to Purdue’s multibillion-dollar OxyContin® product. Chris was also part of the team that upheld this verdict on appeal at the Federal Circuit.  More recently, Chris was a member of a trial team that prevailed on several patents directed to the Alzheimer’s drug, Namenda XR®. Chris also handles trademark matters, successfully defeating a motion for preliminary injunction in the District of Minnesota.  

In addition to his litigation practice, Chris has drafted IP-related agreements for agricultural clients, conducted IP-portfolio investigations for medical-device companies, and participated in freedom-to-operate investigations for telecommunication businesses.  

Chris is also active in the legal community, including pro bono representation through the Pro Se Project. He previously served as the chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association (2015-2016), and currently serves as a member of the Grants Committee for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association.  

Prior to working as an IP attorney, Chris was a law clerk to the Honorable David S. Doty in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. During law school, Chris was a legal writing instructor, a Managing Editor for the Minnesota Law Review, and studied to obtain his master’s degree in Plant Biological Sciences.


Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in Hatch-Waxman litigation involving seven Orange Book listed patents for the extended-release Alzheimer’s drug, Namenda XR®.  Chris was part of a team that invalidated six patents, on indefiniteness grounds, prior to trial.  Forest Labs., Inc. v. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc., C.A. No. 14-121, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 322 (D. Del. Jan. 5, 2016).  Upon completion of a four-day bench trial on the remaining patent, the matter settled for value.  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP.)

Represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in Hatch-Waxman litigation concerning OxyContin®.  After an eight-day bench trial, the court found that each asserted patent was either not infringed and/or invalid.  Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Teva Pharms., USA, Inc. (In re OxyContin Antitrust Litig.), 994 F. Supp. 2d 367 (S.D.N.Y. 2014).  Chris and his team upheld this decision at the Federal Circuit.  Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Epic Pharma, LLC, 811 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir.), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 475 (2016).  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP.)    

Represented Dynamic Air Ltda. in a patent infringement action concerning pneumatic conveying devices that transport oil rig drill cuttings.  Chris was part of a team that argued that Dynamic Air—a Brazilian company—was not subject to personal jurisdiction in the District of Minnesota.  M-I Drilling Fluids UK Ltd. V. Dynamic Air Ltda, Civil No. 13-2385, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27357 (D. Minn. Mar. 1, 2016).  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP.)     

Represented Rust-Oleum in a trademark matter in the District of Minnesota.  Was part of a team that defeated a motion for preliminary injunction.  Plasti-Dip Int’l Inc. v. Rust-Oleum Brands Co., Civil No. 14-1831, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174560 (D. Minn. Dec. 16, 2014).  (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP.)              

Represented Breckenridge Pharmaceuticals in a Hatch-Waxman litigation relating to a cachexia drug, Megace ES®.  Settled for value.  Par Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP.)

Super Lawyers 2019
  • Named a "Minnesota Rising Star," Super Lawyers (2017-2019)
  • Member of the Grants Committee for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association (2016-present)
  • Chair of the Intellectual Property Practice Group for the Minnesota Federal Bar Association (2015-2016)
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • University of Minnesota School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (2011); Minnesota Law Review; Managing Editor (2010-2011), Staff Member (2009-2010)
  • University of Minnesota, M.S. in Plant Biological Studies, magna cum laude (2012)
  • Gustavus Adolphus College, B.A in Biology and Environmental Studies, cum laude (2006)
Professional Associations
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association


Links to full publications and news releases.
Back to Top