United States: Michigan

Firms

Brooks Kushman PC 

“Brooks Kushman is a leading IP boutique with an outstanding patent and trademark prosecution and portfolio management practice.” Protecting brands globally and devising and executing strategies to enhance them is the modus operandi of the specialised trademark team which is co-chaired by Robyn Lederman and Elizabeth Janda. Lederman garners effusive praise as an “inspirational lawyer” who “never misses a detail or deadline despite handling a truly prodigious volume of work”. Janda has over three decades of experience and a deep knowledge not just of trademark law but of adjacent disciplines, such as advertising and marketing; she leverages this to tailor wraparound solutions to complex brand conundrums. Also highly rated is Hope Shovein who provides razor-sharp counsel through all phases of the trademark lifecycle. She has a particular penchant for online brand enforcement. Joining them in the listings this year is Chanille Carswell, who co-chairs the litigation practice. Inside Brooks Kushman, she has litigated across the country and at multiple levels with winning results; outside the firm she has served as a law clerk in the Eastern District of Michigan and worked as a litigation staff attorney at UAW Chrysler Legal Services.

Dickinson Wright 

Having prioritised intellectual property and strategically grown in recent years by adding trademark capability in different offices, such as Austin, Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, Dickinson Wright can now lay claim to a robust and vibrant national A-Z brands practice. A quality-first, hands-on and partner-led service is the hallmark of the group which, operating out of lower-cost midwestern, southern and southwestern markets, can nonetheless offer incredibly enticing rates. Leading the line in Michigan is John C Nishi, an experienced partner and trusted confidant of leading automotive, technology and retail brands. “John has a really keen intellect, is highly skilled technically and is a service-minded straight shooter who is loyal to his clients.” He is a discerning choice for major brand launches, ownership changes and licensing projects and has a proven track record of innovation and successful delivery thereof.

Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC

Harness, Dickey & Pierce excels at trademark prosecution and management – it is responsible for nearly 20,000 marks globally – because it is wired into the USPTO, has excellent foreign connections and utilises cutting-edge technical and analytical tools to ensure that its clients spend their time and money only on the things that matter. However, it is far from being just a filing mill as it handles a tonne of TTAB cases and is an all-around vigorous enforcer. Deploying excellent sector knowledge in traditional areas, such as alcohol, guns, tobacco, transportation and industrial machinery, the group can be counted on for commercially relevant advice; personifying the Midwestern work ethic, it also consistently delivers on time and in full. Lisabeth Coakley captains the squad. Having seen and done so much in the practice over the course of almost 40 years, she is as strategically astute as they come particularly concerning the safeguarding famous brands.

Honigman

Among midwestern general practice firms, Honigman stands out for the depth of its trademark expertise and strength of its bench. Excellent at process and project management, the team is highly effective at managing large portfolios internationally; it also harnesses a fine-tuned strategic and commercial appreciation of trademarks to counsel clients on brand development and monetisation initiatives. With Anessa Owen Kramer on board, global enforcement is a further strong suit. Kramer is beloved by foreign associates who cite her as being “outstanding on all fronts”. “To find a US attorney who is not only supremely capable and commercial but who also offers excellent value is incredibly hard, but Anessa fits the bill perfectly. She is one of the best trademark lawyers in the world. Super responsive, intelligent and practical, she thinks ahead and can answer your questions before you’ve even asked them. Her excellent team instils great confidence so that you know you are in the best of hands.” Focusing on the portfolio side, Julie Reitz also garners resounding applause. As one client comments: “Far from simply managing our portfolio, she is an embedded partner with our global legal team and a key business leader who helps guide important business decisions every day. She takes a lot off our in-house staff’s plate and is a tremendous resource who brings enormous and uncommon expertise, wisdom and common sense to the table.” Reitz manages Kellogg Company’s worldwide portfolio and, together with fellow Ann Arborite Angela Sujek assists the brand with US and global enforcement. A well-rounded and experienced trademark and copyright lawyer, Sujek debuts in the WTR 1000 this year.

Other recommended experts

Staci DeRegnaucourt anchors the trademark practice at boutique Quinn IP Law. With a personal touch, she oversees the global portfolios and policing and enforcement plans of several well-known names and some exciting emerging companies. “Staci is extremely responsive, always available and completely reliable and on top of things. She provides quick, clear but detailed advice and always goes the extra mile.” Fishman Stewart founding partner Michael Fishman is a prosecution and counselling ace with a sterling international reputation. Experience shepherding major cross-border projects to a successful close sets him apart. At Bodman, Susan Kornfield is an “excellent trademark lawyer and copyright star” with a deft conflict resolution touch. She contributes generously to the community and has won awards for her pro bono work. Michael Lisi of Bridge Intellectual Property is a “deep strategic thinker with an excellent eye for detail and extensive expertise in social media issues”. Mary Margaret O’Donnell is the founding partner of dynamic and entrepreneurial boutique Blue Filament Law. She offers a flexible, efficient, personalised and cost-effective protection and enforcement service that serves her clients’ business needs. James Scott is a great choice for a practical steer on brand and business development that is sensitive to the risk tolerance of clients. The Warner Norcross + Judd lawyer is also an award-winning legal tech innovator with a strong focus on efficiency in the more administrative aspects of trademark practice.

Individuals