Lon Offenbacher: Technology Is Turning Auto Industry on Its Head

Lon Offenbacher speaks at 2018 MICHauto SummitHarking back to the videotape format war of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Lon Offenbacher, president and CEO of Inteva Products, told MICHauto Summit attendees that technology is moving so fast, finding the right talent to keep businesses ahead of the curve is this generation’s biggest challenge.

“Do you love Michigan?” Offenbacher asked to open his town hall-style talk.

“The world is going to be so dynamic five to 10 years from now, it is going to make our heads spin,” he said referencing the convergence of the automotive and technology industries. “There are thousands of companies competing for the prize and Michigan is the middle man.”

As a global supplier of engineered components and systems for the automotive industry, Inteva Products has “constant openings” when it comes to talent, Offenbacher said.

“Motown might be mobility town in 10 or 20 years, but we need the people,” he said.

The session was sponsored by Toyota.

Key Takeaways:

  • Inteva Products is focused on creating a culture that values people. The company supports 178 charities around the world, a contributing factor to attracting talent who want to feel connected to a purpose.
  • To help fill the talent pipeline, Inteva Products offers a suite of services, from internships to apprenticeships and partnerships with colleges. The company is working toward collaborative programs with high schools to raise awareness on STEM education.
  • Never stop learning. Never stop growing.

Brooks Kushman Partners with Girl Scouts to Promote Diversity in STEM Education

In partnership with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan, Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Brooks Kushman was able to distribute over 160 IP Patches throughout southeast Michigan during the 2015/2016 Girl Scouts calendar year. The IP Patch was created to supplement the Innovation badge series.

The program was made available to the Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior level Girl Scouts. To earn their IP Patch, the girls learn how to think like an inventor, how inventions can improve lives, how to think like an entrepreneur and how to identify and develop solutions for social problems.

Since the inaugural IP Patch workshop last year, the program has grown to an average of 55 attendees per session. This year a special workshop was hosted at the Detroit USPTO on April 23rd, which included a tour of the facility, one of just four Regional Offices in the United States, and a presentation by Midwest Regional Director Christal Sheppard. Brooks Kushman will host a total of four workshops during the 2015/2016 school year and anticipates hosting eight workshops during the next calendar year; one session for each age group with Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan and Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.

“We are excited to see the program grow and develop,” said Brooks Kushman Attorney Rachel Smith. “It is especially rewarding to see how each of the programs brings an awareness and enthusiasm for intellectual property. The girls have also demonstrated an eagerness to learn about the abundance of career opportunities available in IP law and other STEM industries.”

Brooks Kushman co-founded the workshop in an effort to promote STEM education and awareness of STEM career opportunities for women in an industry historically male-centric. Smith notes, “Research shows girls typically start losing interest in math and science during middle school; by providing a fun, dynamic, interactive workshop we increase the likelihood they will stay engaged with STEM learning throughout their academic careers. Building a diverse and inclusive industry starts with them.”

About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Property Today.

For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.

Brooks Kushman hosts workshop for Girl Scouts to earn IP Patch at USPTO Detroit office

DETROIT (April 5, 2016) – Brooks Kushman will host an event on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from noon to 2 p.m. for Brownies in the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan to earn their IP Patch. The event will be held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Regional Outreach Center, located at 300 River Place Dr. in Detroit.

During the event, Girl Scouts will attend workshops led by Brooks Kushman attorneys, where they will learn to identify and design their own Trademarks and create Copyrighted pieces of work. In addition to the standard IP Patch curriculum, the girls will also have a chance to meet and speak with USPTO Midwest Regional Director Dr. Christal Sheppard, and to take a tour of the facility, which is one of just four Regional Offices in the United States.

“We are proud to offer this opportunity for Girl Scouts to learn about the different tools to protect intellectual property,” said Brooks Kushman Shareholder Elizabeth Janda. “We have worked with Girl Scouts throughout the state to show girls that there is an abundance of career opportunities for them in IP law and other STEM industries. These events teach girls valuable lessons that could one day help them protect innovations in their careers. We are especially excited that the girls will have the special opportunity to tour the USPTO regional office and meet the leadership and staff there to learn more about their role in intellectual property.”

The IP Patch is available to four levels of Girl Scouts (Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior). It was created by the Girl Scouts as a supplement to the Innovation badge series with the help of industry partners like the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation and the USPTO.

As Girl Scouts earn each of the four levels of the IP Patch, they will learn how to think like an inventor, how inventions can improve lives, how to think like an entrepreneur and how to identify and develop solutions for social problems.

Brooks Kushman Shareholder Elizabeth Janda, Senior Attorney Jennifer Ziegler and Associate, Rachel Smith will present and lead hands-on workshops during the event.

The event fee, which includes all supplies, a snack and the IP Patch, is $5 per girl. Interested Girl Scouts in troops that are part of the Southeastern Michigan Council can find more information and register for the event here.

About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Property Today. For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.