United States: Michigan

Firms

Brooks Kushman PC 

There are few firms who take their commitment to clients as seriously as Brooks Kushman. Its 90 IP attorneys literally live the brands they represent – eating their products, wearing their clothes and driving their cars. They make themselves available at every hour of the day and never think twice about pulling an all-nighter when the situation requires. The services on offer are all-encompassing, from prosecution to litigation; but it is the team’s enforcement mettle that makes it really stand out. It has extensive experience sending cease and desist letters, liaising with US customs officials and seizing domain names back from cybersquatters. President and chair Mark Cantor has been instrumental in building up the practice and recruiting new talent. With an enviable track record in cases, he is a real source of inspiration for up-and-coming practitioners. Another widely revered member, Marc Lorelli has brought the heat before many federal courts in his time. He is a smooth operator, who assesses each case on its own merits within the framework of wider business realities and then comes up with a game plan. When it comes to global portfolio management, in steps Elizabeth Janda; the trademark group chair has sharpened her skills to the finest point over the course of a decorated 30-year career. Closing in on Janda’s three decades of experience, Robyn Lederman is responsible for the branding strategies of companies ranging from exciting start-ups to Fortune 500 world beaters. Joining these four in the WTR 1000 for the first time in 2018, Hope Shovein is a judicious strategist who understands the pressures of running a business thanks to time spent at a major automotive company. She has “significant experience in the trademark field and is very well known internationally” – her reputation has earned her the honour of being chair-elect to the IP section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Dickinson Wright 

With 17 posts across the United States – not to mention one in Canada – Dickinson Wright has a truly nationwide footprint. It is a full-service firm but places significant emphasis on its IP practice, ensuring that this is well represented in every office. The set’s ranks boast a dazzling array of experience, with an impressive partner-to-associate ratio and an ethos that no one should be afraid to get their hands dirty; a premium is placed on close client contact. The menu runs from nuts-and-bolts clearance work all the way up to protection of critical marks. Embodying this comprehensive range of services, John C Nishi is the man to call in Michigan. “He is a wonderful all-round lawyer with a particularly superb trademark prosecution practice. He understands what valuable advice looks like – his business-minded insights are incredibly valuable.” Having worked in publishing and marketing, John C Blattner brings a well-rounded understanding of brand creation to the table. Quick thinking, creativity and responsiveness characterise his practice.

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

Dinsmore & Shohl has dominated the IP scene for over a century now, giving it wide-ranging experience and finely honed customer service; clients can rest assured that they will receive watertight counsel on budget and on time. With offices from coast to coast, the firm is intimately familiar with a vast number of district courts across the country and boasts expertise in all the key hives of industry. In Detroit the leading light is Thomas Anderson, who manages portfolios with real finesse.

Fishman Stewart PLLC 

Fishman Stewart has the legal nous and practical intelligence to bring trademark conflicts to a swift and favourable end time and again. Its practitioners are fazed by nothing but take a resolutely commercial approach to all instructions. They pull no punches in the courtroom, but will sidestep costly litigation where this is in their clients’ best long-term business interests. Founding partner Michael D Fishman understands the interconnectivity of the modern world and, consequently, the need for a truly global branding strategy; he has handled applications in a staggering 200 jurisdictions. Responsiveness and creativity are the hallmarks of his service.

Harness, Dickey & Pierce PLC

The “extremely strong and much respected”, Harness, Dickey & Pierce has a formidable reputation in its spiritual home of Michigan, where its tireless trademark masters continue to file an astonishing number of applications annually and to tighten the screws on infringers. Working hand in hand with teammates in Texas, Missouri and Washington DC, it organises significant customs seizures for some of the world’s most famous brands. Lisabeth Coakley has been kept busy in this domain lately; she has strong links with US Customs and Border Protection and a passion for the pursuit of fakes. Experience representing clients before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and as first chair in civil jury trials further stand her in good stead.

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn supplies clients with sophisticated IP counsel at a reasonable price – a rare combination that has won it many loyal fans. Being part of a full-service firm, its trademark lawyers need only shout across the corridor for a second opinion in matters, which include involute tax or antitrust threads and as a result they never fail to provide holistic, commercially sound counsel. Anessa Owen Kramer and Julie Kretzschmer Reitz are the jewels in the firm’s crown in Detroit. Kramer makes light work of even the thorniest disputes; her assertive style helps her to manoeuvre around seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Portfolio management is Reitz’s strong suit; she has a knack for sealing lucrative licensing contracts. Whatever the issue, she will provide a resolution in lightning speed.

Warner Norcross & Judd

Warner Norcross & Judd is a force to be reckoned with in the Great Lakes State, where it has eight research rich-offices. Its heavyweight performers are technically sharp and battle-ready; eschewing cookie-cutter solutions, they take the road less travelled with alacrity. Thanks to wisdom across the board, this would be a fine choice for companies in need of a robust one-stop shop for all their branding needs – contentious and non-contentious. Based in Grant Rapids, Scott Keller is the first port of call for many.

Other recommended experts

Mary Bonnema at McGarry Bair is known for her startling power of recall. When the pressure mounts, she keeps her cool and utilises her exceptional memory. Having served as vice president in a Fortune 500 company, she also has a brilliant sense of business. Quinn Law Group’s far-sighted Staci DeRegnaucourt is adept at helping companies realise their long-term business plans through creative and effective portfolio management. Coordinating the IP practice at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, Lawrence Jordan “really makes an effort to understand his clients’ brands. You know he’ll do a fantastic job.” Transactional work sees him at his best. Bodman’s Susan Kornfield has the ability to communicate complex legal concepts in crystal-clear language – a skill that makes her stand out as a compelling negotiator and advocate. The versatile and “extremely sharp” Michael Lisi at Bridge Intellectual Property Services is a trademark magus, who demonstrates his magic touch at every turn. Blue Filament Law’s sagacious Mary Margaret O’Donnell is a regular before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and someone who rapidly instils trust in whomever she works with.

Individuals

  • Anessa Owen Kramer - Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
  • John C Nishi - Dickinson Wright 
  • John C Blattner - Dickinson Wright 
  • Mary C Bonnema - McGarry Bair LLP
  • Mark Cantor - Brooks Kushman PC
  • Lisabeth H Coakley - Harness, Dickey & Pierce PLC
  • Staci R DeRegnaucourt - Quinn Law Group PLLC
  • Michael D Fishman - Fishman Stewart PLLC 
  • Elizabeth Janda - Brooks Kushman PC
  • Lawrence R Jordan - Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss PC
  • Susan Kornfield - Bodman LLP
  • Julie Kretzschmer Reitz - Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP
  • Robyn Lederman - Brooks Kushman PC
  • Michael A Lisi - Bridge Intellectual Property Services PLLC
  • Marc Lorelli - Brooks Kushman PC
  • Mary Margaret O’Donnell - Blue Filament Law PLLC
  • Hope Shovein - Brooks Kushman PC