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Six Intellectual Property Attorneys Join Dickinson Wright Ann Arbor Office

ANN ARBOR – February 6, 2020 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Jim Cleland, Gerlinde (Linda) Nattler, Steven Oberholtzer, and Michael Spink have joined the firm’s Ann Arbor office as Members. Keith Weiss, Ph.D. has joined the firm as Of Counsel and Sungwook (Sung) Lee has joined as an Associate.

“We are excited to welcome Jim, Linda, Steven, Michael, Keith, and Sung to the firm’s intellectual property team,” says Philip Rettig, Division Director of Dickinson Wright’s Intellectual Property Practice. “As businesses and the marketplace continue to change, our clients need lawyers who can help protect their intellectual property assets both domestically and abroad. The addition of these six extraordinary lawyers deepens the strength of Dickinson Wright’s national intellectual property practice.”

James Cleland (Member) litigates patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition cases in a broad range of technologies including the automotive, chemical, materials science, mechanical, electrical and medical device arts, and assists his clients with counseling, opinion and licensing work in those same areas. He brings substantial first chair experience in both federal district courts and the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, including trials, IPRs, preliminary injunction hearings, Markman hearings summary judgment proceedings and all aspects of fact and expert witness discovery. Mr. Cleland is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association Legal Task Force, the Federal Bar Association, the American and Michigan Intellectual Property Law Associations, and the Washtenaw County Bar Association. He is recognized as a leader in his field by IAM Patent 1000 and Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Mr. Cleland received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Gerlinde (Linda) Nattler (Member) has many years of international in-house patent prosecution experience and knows how important it is to view patent applications in the context of a client’s business and technology. While working in Europe, she was admitted to practice before the European Patent Office. The knowledge of different standards applied by different patent offices helps her draft patent applications that withstand international as well as domestic challenges. Ms. Nattler is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Vereinigung von Fachleuten des Gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes (VPP). She is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars and was named a “Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Ms. Nattler received her University Diploma from Universität Bayreuth and her J.D. from Thomas Cooley Law School.

Steven Oberholtzer (Member) focuses his practice on the development and implementation of corporate intellectual property policies, intellectual asset management, litigation, and technology licensing. He has decades of experience representing clients in the automotive industry, including current responsibility for the worldwide intellectual property issues of multiple automotive suppliers. He is familiar with a range of mechanical and electromechanical disciplines, including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. He is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Lawyers Association. He is recognized as a leader in his field as Lawyer of the Year for Ann Arbor in Patent Law by Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, IAM Patent 1000, DBusiness Top Lawyers, and IP Stars, and is recognized with the highest rating of “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Oberholtzer received his B.S. from General Motors Institute (Kettering University) and his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

Michael Spink (Member) helps clients effectively manage their intellectual assets, including in-house policies and procedures, procurement, licensing and opinions. He is skilled in portfolio management and support, including performing portfolio classification, mapping and analysis. By linking intellectual asset strategies to business and product strategies, his clients enhance intellectual property protection while reducing risk. He has extensive experience in complex transactions involving intellectual property, including due diligence, acquisition, disposition, and bankruptcy issues. Mr. Spink was recently Co-Chair of the Licensing Executives Society Michigan Chapter, and is a Certified Licensing Professional. He was awarded a position in the IAM 300 by his peers as a leading intellectual property strategist and Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association. Mr. Spink received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School.

Keith Weiss, Ph.D. (Of Counsel) has more than two decades experience in corporate research and development in material science, inorganic chemistry, and polymer science, leading him to be listed as an inventor on more than 30 U.S. patents. He has substantial experience with advanced materials, applications, and equipment used in multiple global industries, including automotive, aerospace, coatings, plastics, medical devices, and microelectronic fabrication. His experience also includes the integration of IP processes with R&D, marketing, and quality operations, as well as obtaining government funding for R&D initiatives and establishing joint R&D programs. Dr. Weiss focuses his practice towards patent prosecution, technology licensing, portfolio development/management, and trade secret analysis. He received his B.S. from Clemson University, his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Florida, and his J.D. from the Thomas Cooley Law School.

Sungwook (Sung) Lee (Associate) has experience in various aspects of patent practice including patent application preparation, patent prosecution and patent litigation. His practice focuses on mechanical and electromechanical structures such as automotive components, power systems, semiconductors, medical devices, and office products. He previously served as a U.S. patent attorney in Germany and has worked with the European patent system in addition to the United States patent system. With the knowledge and experience of different patent systems, he can help his clients apply their patent in both the United States and internationally. Mr. Lee is a member of the Korean Intellectual Property Professionals in Europe (KIPEU) and the Association of Korean-American Professionals in the Automotive Industry (KPAI). He received his B.S. from KAIST, his M.S. from the University of Michigan, and his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

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About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.