Steven P. Oberholtzer, shareholder and managing partner of the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., was interviewed January 5th on the public affairs program Detroit Today, which airs on public radio station WDET (101.9fm).

The topic of the interview was what Mr. Oberholtzer refers to as the “Arsenal of Innovation” - the tremendous talent and success the region and the state of Michigan have known with Research & Development and innovation as a direct result of the domestic auto makers.

According to Mr. Oberholtzer, the innovation impact of the domestics was conspicuously absent from the automaker bailout discussions in Washington in November and early December.
“The level of innovation centered in Michigan as a result of the domestic auto industry has not been talked about broadly enough on a local, regional or national level,” says Mr. Oberholtzer.

“There has great emphasis on where automotive component are assembled and various union/management issues, yet the strategic advantage that our nation has with such a depth of R&D and true innovation has been relatively ignored. As both a mechanical engineer and an intellectual property attorney, I see innovation in Michigan at its earliest stages, and it is incredibly impressive. It is imperative that we further the discussion on our innovation advantage, our “Arsenal of Innovation”, before more high caliber jobs and discoveries are lost not only to our region but to our nation,” concludes Oberholtzer.

Mr. Oberholtzer focuses his practice on patent and trademark counseling, corporate intellectual property policy development, technology licensing, joint development and joint venture relationship agreements, United States Patent and Trademark Office administrative proceedings, including interferences, re-examinations, re-issues, trademark oppositions, patent application preparation and prosecution, providing opinions regarding infringement risks, design-around projects and patentability and administration of corporate intellectual property portfolios.

He has extensive experience in the mechanical and electro-mechanical disciplines, with particular emphasis on automotive industry issues, and has additional significant experience in technology areas, including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. Mr. Oberholtzer is the author of a primer on intellectual property entitled, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law.

Mr. Oberholtzer is involved with many civic and professional activities, including the Washtenaw County Bar Association, where he serves as Chair of the Intellectual Property Law Section, the Technology Transfer Society, the Licensing Executives Society and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

Founded in 1917, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is based in Chicago with five additional offices across the country, including Ann Arbor, serving the intellectual property needs of clients from around the world. The firm is one of the largest IP law firms in the country, with more than 170 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents specializing in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual asset management, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments in fields as diverse as electrical, chemical, mechanical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, Internet and computer technology, as well as in trademarks and brand names for a wide variety of products and services. For more information, visit


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