RJ Zayed

RJ Zayed




RJ has tried over 60 cases to jury verdict in federal court as lead trial counsel. These include both civil and criminal matters involving economic espionage and misappropriation of trade secrets; computer fraud and abuse; patent, copyright and trademark infringement; trafficking in counterfeit goods; bank, computer, healthcare, mail, and wire fraud; false statements, false claims, whistleblower litigation, and retaliatory discharges. RJ also has handled hundreds of evidentiary hearings and numerous civil and criminal bench trials. RJ has been lead counsel and has argued over 50 criminal and civil appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Federal Circuits and the Illinois and Minnesota Appellate Courts.

RJ’s intellectual property practice focuses on trade secrets, economic espionage, computer fraud and abuse, patents, copyright, and trademark matters.

RJ’s government enforcement and corporate investigations practice focuses on counseling, compliance, internal investigations, and defense of government enforcement actions and investigations and white-collar criminal defense with a focus on criminal trade secret misappropriation, economic espionage, and trafficking in counterfeit goods and import and export violations.

Education & Admissions

University of Illinois (J.D., 1989), summa cum laude; Order of the Coif; Notes and Comments Editor

Illinois Institute of Technology (B.S.E.E., 1979), Computer Science Minor


  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Spanish, Arabic


  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chief Judge John F. Grady, 1989-1991


Representative Work

Intellectual Property

RJ’s experience includes counseling, investigating, developing, asserting, and defending patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secret claims for many Fortune 500 companies including manufacturers and providers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, healthcare services, semiconductors, software products, electronic products, wireless communications and systems, precision tooling, fertilizers, paints, and chemicals.

RJ’s technical and patent attorney background has enabled him to handle matters involving the design and operation of computers, wireless devices and telecommunications systems and protocols, electronic consumer products, electronic control systems, Coriolis flowmeters, encryption devices, memory devices, digital and analog circuitry, electrical transmission, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and nutritional supplements, multi-modal polymers, adhesives, composites, and electrical, chemical, and mechanical processes.

Prior to law school, RJ worked seven years as a hardware and software design engineer for Honeywell, Inc., designing microprocessor-based instrumentation and digital and analog circuitry for environmental control systems used in commercial buildings and complexes. He received the Honeywell Technical Excellence Award for his design of software and hardware-controlled memory device and circuit board testing system.

RJ has successfully led numerous trade secret misappropriation, patent and trademark litigation matters in the following areas, among others:

  • Defending a $4 billion misappropriation of trade secrets case involving systematic mathematical investment models.
  • Prosecuting a $40 million misappropriation of trade secrets case involving mining processes.
  • Defending a $60 million patent infringement case involving atrial septal occluder devices.
  • Prosecuting a $27 million patent infringement case involving cardiovascular stents.
  • Prosecuting a $100 million misappropriation of trade secrets case involving paint formulas.
  • Defending a $750 million misappropriation of trade secrets case involving semiconductor manufacturing.
  • Defending a $130 million trafficking in counterfeit goods federal investigation involving water filters.
  • Defending a multi-million trademark infringement and trademark counterfeiting case involving tactical flashlights.
  • Defending and obtaining dismissal of all charges in a federal indictment alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and false statements involving large software system for administrating state unemployment insurance benefits.

Government Enforcement and Corporate Investigations

RJ’s government enforcement background includes extensive experience in investigating, prosecuting, and defending complex federal investigations and actions. As an Assistant United States Attorney, RJ led the investigation and prosecution of hundreds of criminal cases, including economic espionage; theft of trade secrets; criminal copyright and trademark cases; multi-defendant international drug-trafficking and money laundering conspiracies; bribery and corruption; fraud (bank, computer, healthcare, mail, securities, tax and wire fraud); aggravated identity theft; conspiracies to defraud the United States; false statements and claims; violent crimes; firearm offenses; and environmental crimes (including some of the largest criminal fines in the history of Minnesota).

Since returning to private practice, RJ has defended and tried white-collar and multi-defendant international drug trafficking and money laundering cases. RJ has also successfully represented numerous corporate clients and state and private universities in government enforcement actions and in internal investigations, involving:

  • Bribery, corrupt practices and fraudulent schemes (including alleged FCPA violations, corrupt practices and fraudulent schemes in Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Jordan, Malaysia, Panama, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom);
  • Economic espionage;
  • Trade secret misappropriation;
  • Patents and inventions;
  • Federal research grants;
  • False statements and claims;
  • Trafficking in counterfeit goods;
  • Import and export violations;
  • Criminal environmental violations;
  • Fraud (bank, computer, healthcare, mail, securities, tax, and wire);
  • Adulterated and misbranded drugs and medical devices; and
  • Off-label promotion
  • Defending $350 million ERISA healthcare case and prosecuting a $50 million healthcare fraud and conspiracy counterclaim case
  • Defending $150 million False Claims Act case and obtaining governmental declination, dismissal of FCA claims and jury verdict of no retaliatory discharge in the manufacturing of aluminum curtain wall windows for commercial and governmental buildings
  • Conducting extensive internal investigations for national public universities involving allegations of faculty misconduct, false claims, and misappropriation of intellectual property
  • Conducting extensive internal investigations for national and international corporations involving allegations of bribery and public corruption
  • Representing senior corporate executives against allegations of internal and external misconduct.

RJ has also represented non-English speaking clients whose native languages are Arabic and Spanish in criminal and civil matters in federal court.

RJ was the court-appointed Receiver in the SEC v. Cook, et. al, Case No. 09-cv-3333, CFTC v. Cook, et. al, Case No. 09-cv-3332, and SEC v. Beckman, et. al, Case No. 11-cv-574 (D. Minn.) cases involving a $194 million Ponzi scheme with hundreds of vulnerable victims.

News & Resources


DOJ to Develop New Whistleblower Program to Augment Existing Federal Whistleblower Programs
Department of Justice Seeks to Reward Due Diligence and Timely Self-Disclosures in Mergers & Acquisitions Through New Safe Harbor Policy
DOJ Announces Additional Incentives for Corporate Cooperation in Criminal Enforcement
DOJ Paving a More Structured Path for Corporate Criminal Enforcement
Borrowers & Banks Beware: The New Year Brings the Nation’s First False Claims Act Settlement for Paycheck Protection Program Fraud
Can I please go to work yet?
Minnesota Businesses Must Require Workers, Customers, and Visitors to Wear Masks
The Convergence: Feds Level First Hybrid Healthcare- and Securities-fraud Charges Arising from COVID-19 Marketing and Sales
Minnesota Critical Sector Employers Must Develop and Implement Written COVID-19 Preparedness Plans by June 29 Under Latest Order from Gov. Walz
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Further Loosens COVID-19 Workplace Restrictions Effective May 17 at 11:59 pm – but Requires Newly-Reopening Employers to Implement Preparedness Plans
Governor Tim Walz April 23 Order Allowing Additional Businesses to Restart Operation
Governor Tim Walz has Extended Minnesota Stay-at-Home Order
Minnesota Stay-at-Home Order to take effect Friday, March 27 at 11:59 pm – “Critical Sectors” may continue operating
INSIGHT: Research Institutions Under DOJ’s False Claims Microscope After Chinese Influence Settlement
Naughty or Nice: Feds Hand Out More Than Lumps of Coal When it Comes to Healthcare Fraud
Naughty or Nice: Feds Hand Out More Than Lumps of Coal When it Comes to Healthcare Fraud
Organizations Facing Criminal Fines May Be Able To Reduce Them Upon A Proper Showing Of Inability To Pay
DOJ Issues Consolidated Guidance for False Claims Act Cooperation Credit
Grant-Fraud Guilty Plea Underscores Potential Civil and Administrative Liability for Recipients of Federal Funds
The Anatomy of Corporate Criminal Liability: Appellate Court Sustains Organizational Conviction and Imposition of Maximum Penalty for Violations of Civil Safety Regulations
Two Recent Justice Department Memoranda May Have Significant Consequences for Pending and Future False Claims Act Enforcement
Best Practices in the Era of Outside Investigations: Is Your Organization Ready?
Dorsey Health Law Blog: Consultant found guilty of illegal kickbacks by “referring” doctors’ patients to another medical provider in exchange for remuneration
Consultant found guilty of illegal kickbacks by “referring” doctors’ patients to another medical provider in exchange for remuneration
Supreme Court Upholds Implied Certification Theory of False Claims Act Liability, But Imposes Some Limitations on its Reach

News & Press Mentions

200 Dorsey Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in 2024 Best Lawyers in America, Lawyers of the Year, and Ones to Watch
Super Lawyers Recognizes 27 Dorsey Attorneys in Minneapolis
Dorsey Lawyers Step in as Pro Bono Referees
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes 30 Dorsey Lawyers and 10 Practices in Minneapolis
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Super Lawyers Recognizes 26 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Chambers USA 2022 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Super Lawyers Recognizes 29 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
IAM Patent 1000 Recognizes 13 Dorsey Attorneys in World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2021
Dorsey Receives ABA Free Legal Answers 2020 Pro Bono Leader Award
Dorsey Receives NLADA 2020 Beacon of Justice Award for Pro Bono Work
Super Lawyers Recognizes 38 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Leading Law School Clinics, Law Firms Join ACLU of Louisiana Litigation Campaign Against Racist Policing
Dorsey Receives ABA 2020 Exceptional Service Award for Pro Bono Death Penalty Work
Dorsey Joins New Law Firm Antiracism Alliance
IAM Patent 1000 Recognizes 13 Dorsey Attorneys in World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2020
Minnesota State Bar Association Recognizes 94 Dorsey Lawyers for 2019 Pro Bono Service
Dorsey & Whitney Expands “China Initiative” Task Force
Dorsey Moves Up the Ranks in 2019 American Lawyer Pro Bono Report
Super Lawyers Recognizes 41 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
IAM Patent 1000 Recognizes 12 Dorsey Attorneys in World’s Leading Patent Professionals 2019
Minnesota State Bar Association Recognizes 99 Dorsey Lawyers for 2018 Pro Bono Service
54 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 and 2019 Lawyers of the Year
Super Lawyers Recognizes 36 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis

Industries & Practices

Government Solutions & Investigations
  • Anti-Corruption Group
  • Antitrust & Competition Law
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Energy & Natural Resources
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Government Solutions & Investigations
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • Intellectual Property
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Legal Project Management
  • Mining
  • Pro Bono
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • Technology

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Serves the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under its Criminal Justice Act Plan and is appointed regularly to represent indigent criminal defendants in federal felony cases
  • Served on Court’s Federal Practice (Local Rules) Committee and ECF Sealed Committee


Chambers USA 2023Chambers 2022Chambers USA 2021   Ranked in Chambers USA 2020   

  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations), 2020-2023
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2015-2024
  • Listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2010-2023

     Pro Bono 100 Hours 2022    Contributed 100+ Pro Bono Hours in 2021Contributed 100+ Pro Bono Hours in 2020 

  • Contributed more than 100 Challenge pro bono hours, 2020-2022
  • Recognized in IAM Patent 1000 - World's Leading Patent Practitioners, 2019-2021

    North Star Lawyer logo

  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2013-2022


RJ Zayed