United States: Michigan


Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc
Brinks Gilson & Lione
Foley & Lardner LLP
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Brinks Gilson & Lione
Serving academic institutions and industrialists alike, the Michigan outpost of Brinks Gilson & Lione has a gilt-edged patent practice, valued especially for its non-contentious offering. Having worked as a mechanical engineer at General Motors and as in-house counsel for manufacturing suppliers, Steven Oberholtzer is steeped in knowledge of the automotive sector. Commercially savvy, he is a top-flight prosecutor and a steady-handed overseer of IP licensing deals. From filing to enforcement, Brooks Kushman provides a stellar service throughout the patent lifecycle. Immersed in clients’ businesses, it provides strategically astute advice to innovators in the consumer electronics, computer technology, aerospace and car industries. The firm’s longstanding reputation for securing watertight intellectual property is upheld by the conscientious John Nemazi, leader of the company-wide prosecution group, which files 3,000 applications per year. Another seasoned portfolio manager, William Abbatt is equally esteemed for his sure-footed mediation and transactions work. A driving force behind Brooks Kushman’s “outstanding litigation group” – which has doubled in size in the past seven years – is Mark Cantor, a courtroom virtuoso who handles the most complicated cases with poise. Other cogent advocates in must-win disputes include John LeRoy and Frank Angileri, who together successfully defended Ford against infringement claims by Eagle Harbor Holdings. They are currently representing the same client against Versata in a case they succeeded in having transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Eastern District of Michigan. Also a skilled operator before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Angileri co-chairs the firm’s outstanding post-grant practice, which was recently boosted by the opening of a new office in the Washington DC area. Co-leading this practice is the versatile Sangeeta Shah, whose talents range from drafting to high-stakes litigation; recent highlights for her include acquiring patents for MASCO Corporation. Boasting an enviable domestic and global client base, streamlined boutique Fishman Stewart earns its sophomore appearance in the IAM Patent 1000. With a crack specialist team covering all angles of patent law, this one-stop shop is especially lauded for its slick non-contentious offering; it adeptly procures and manages IP rights, particularly in the telecommunications and electronics spaces. Founding partner and high-technology maven Michael B Stewart has a 360-degree view of patent law; a masterly prosecutor, he is also accomplished in disputes before the US Patent and Trademark Office and federal courts.
Foley & Lardner LLP
With a keen focus on the automotive sector, the folks at Foley & Lardner’s Detroit office bring fine-grained industry expertise to bear while working adroitly across the full spectrum of patent services. Captaining the local IP practice, Marcus Sprow is a judicious counsellor and diligent portfolio manager. His broad technical know-how – spanning electronics, mechanical and electro-mechanical engineering – stands him in good stead when working with cutting-edge manufacturing innovations. Niche expertise in battery technology is another string to his bow.
Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc
Satisfying the full range of patent needs for a slew of prestigious innovators, the state’s largest IP specialist Harness, Dickey & Pierce has a particularly stellar name for prosecution; its large and prolific team of drafters contains an impressive range of expertise. Focusing on robotics, optics and the electrical arts, Bryant Wade handles weighty international portfolios with acuity; he has gained an enviable following among Japanese companies. His colleague, aerospace whizz Mark Elchuk, has a real affinity for computer control systems, electromechanical and mechanical inventions. His non-contentious output is distinguished by intelligent drafting and polished client service. The multi-talented David Utykanski has a panoramic perspective on intellectual assets; he obtains IP rights and advocates persuasively before the federal courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Also fighting clients’ corners in disputes is Gregory Stobbs, a veteran litigator and author of major treatises on software patent law.
Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Combining far-sighted strategic vision with a down-to-earth, practical approach, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn executes on global patent mandates for some of the world’s largest rights holders; close familiarity with the workings of the EU Intellectual Property Office puts it among a select few in the Wolverine State. One of Michigan’s most incisive legal minds, Jonathan O’Brien draws on his chemistry PhD to superb effect; he is a trusted portfolio manager for major players in the life sciences – a sector in which the firm is a recognised leader. His partner Michael Huget has “a great reputation as a litigator”, developed over the course of 240 district court cases. A fine-tuned understanding of the media industries is a feather in his cap. A flair for acquiring patents with maximum value for its patrons makes Quinn IP Law a big hit with automotive, electronics and materials science companies. “Having some of the best patent attorneys I have ever encountered, it always impresses with its quality of service and commitment to cost-effective legal solutions. Its work has been instrumental to our growth as a company,” enthuses one innovator. A former in-house counsel at Ford, Christopher W Quinn has walked a mile in his clients’ shoes and thus has keen insight into their individual needs. Recent highlights include obtaining new patents for NASA. Another key player is the “excellent” Jean McCarthy, who dispatches even the most challenging mandates with aplomb.


William G Abbatt - Brooks Kushman PC
Frank A Angileri - Brooks Kushman PC
Kelly K Burris - Burris Law, PLLC
Mark Cantor - Brooks Kushman PC
Mark D Elchuk - Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc
J Michael Huget - Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
John S LeRoy - Brooks Kushman PC
Jean McCarthy - Quinn IP Law
John E Nemazi - Brooks Kushman PC
Steven Oberholtzer - Brinks Gilson & Lione
Jonathan P O'Brien - Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
Christopher W Quinn - Quinn IP Law
Sangeeta G Shah - Brooks Kushman PC
Marcus Sprow - Foley & Lardner LLP
Michael B Stewart - Fishman Stewart PLLC
Gregory Stobbs - Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc
David Utykanski - Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc
Bryant Wade - Harness, Dickey & Pierce plc

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Issue 89