Steven L. Oberholtzer
Shareholder
Overview

“There’s a technological revolution happening in the automotive industry, and we’re in the middle of it.”

Steven Oberholtzer’s practice focuses the development and implementation of corporate intellectual property policies, intellectual asset management, litigation, and technology licensing.

Steven has decades of experience representing clients in the automotive industry, including current responsibility for the worldwide intellectual property issues of multiple automotive suppliers. A lifelong auto enthusiast, he worked as an engineer at General Motors and as a senior project engineer with a domestic OEM manufacturer before receiving his law degree.  He previously served as in-house patent counsel for a Tier 1 supplier, and in private practice has acted as primary outside counsel for a number of Tier 1 and lower Tier suppliers.

Steven frequently supervises teams of attorneys managing all of his clients’ intellectual property matters. Clients look to him not only for his handling of tactical matters such as patent applications, but his ability to strategically think forward about the challenges coming their way.

Familiar with a range of mechanical and electromechanical disciplines, he has also worked with clients technology areas including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. A frequent writer and speaker on intellectual property policy development, Steven also has experience in United States Patent and Trademark Office administrative proceedings, including trademark oppositions and patent application preparation and prosecution. He regularly provides opinions regarding infringement risks, design-around projects, patentability, litigation, and intellectual property issues surrounding merger and acquisition transactions.

Practice Groups
Education
  • J.D.,
    Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, 1981
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering
    General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), 1977
Bar Admissions
  • Michigan
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Area of Focus
Experience | Overview
  • Served as primary outside counsel to multiple Tier 1 auto suppliers.
  • Developed intellectual property policies for multiple automotive industry clients.
  • Acted as trial counsel in patent infringement cases in federal district court.
Experience | Legal

Brinks Gilson & Lione, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Shareholder, 2001-Present
Managing Partner, Ann Arbor Office
Member, Board of Directors, 2007-2008

Harness, Dickey & Pierce
Partner, 1987-2001
Associate, 1983-1987

Kelsey Hayes, Inc.
Associate Patent Counsel, 1981-1983

Forward Thinking
publication
June 30, 2017
Ann Arbor Shareholder, Steven Oberholtzer, was profiled by the June 2017 Michigan Edition of Leading Lawyers Magazine.  Please click here to read more.
in the media
October 10, 2016
On October 10, 2016, Legal News mentioned the latest ranking from Managing Intellectual Property which named nine attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione to its annual list of IP Stars.  To read more, please visit here.
in the media
September 25, 2016
On September 25, 2016, Legal News mentioned Michigan Shareholder, Steven Oberholtzer, for his appearance on “Comcast Newsmakers.”  Please click here to see the column.
in the media
September 12, 2016
On September 12, 2016, Michigan Lawyers Weekly mentioned Michigan Shareholder, Steven Oberholtzer, in its People in the Law column for his appearance on “Comcast Newsmakers.”  Please click here to see the column.
in the media
June 27, 2016
On June 27, 2016, Ann Arbor shareholder, Steven L. Oberholtzer, wrote a guest blog post for Automotive News entitled, "Why the new era of auto industry collaboration creates risks." Please visit here to read.
in the media
July 13, 2015
On July 13, 2015 Brinks was mentioned in the Wastenaw County Legal News article, 'Brinks Gilson & Lione attorneys earn Kudos.'  The article mentioned Brinks recent IAM Patent 1000 recognition. Click here to read more.
in the media
March 25, 2015
On March 25, 2015 Brinks was mentioned on the news show Autoline Daily regarding the article, 'Patent Related Trends in the Automotive Industry,' written by Steven Oberholtzer, Robert Shereda and Melinda DeSantis. Click here to listen.
in the media
January 15, 2015
The news that Steven L. Oberholtzer, Kelly K. Burris, Lawrence (L.G.) Almeda, William R. Boudreaux, James K. Cleland and Eric J. Sosenko were named Leading Lawyers for 2014-2015 was mentioned in the “People and Achievements” section ...
in the media
September 04, 2014
On September 4, 2014, Eric Sosenko and Steve Oberholtzer were mentioned in MLive’s Ann Arbor Business Briefs for their inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 list. Also mentioned was Eric Sosenko being named The Best Lawyers in America ...
in the media
July 18, 2014
Josh Ney, Steve Oberholtzer, and Jon Beaupré were mentioned on MLive.com on the “Business Briefs” page on July 17, 2014. In the “People & Achievements” section, Josh Ney was mentioned for his DBusiness award ...
in the media
July 10, 2014
Steve Oberholtzer was quoted, and Joshua Ney and Jennifer Turchyn were pictured, in an article entitled “Learn and Links” published in the Washtenaw County Legal News section of LegalNews.com on July 7, 2014. Click here to ...
in the media
June 12, 2014
On June 12, 2014, Steve Oberholtzer, LG Almeda, Eric Sosenko and Joshua Ney were mentioned on MLive.com in their “People & Achievements” section for being named “2014 IP Stars” in Managing Intellectual Property ...
in the media
June 05, 2014
MLive.com mentioned Steve Oberholtzer on June 5, 2014 in their “People & Achievements” section. Click here to read more.
in the media
June 03, 2014
Detroit Regional Chamber mentioned Steve Oberholtzer on June 3, 2014, in their “Member News” section. Steve was a recent guest on Comcast Newsmakers, a news show featuring Michigan business, government and community leaders discussing ...
publication
February 27, 2012
Steven L. Oberholtzer is profiled in the February 27, 2012, “Leaders in the Law” issue of Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Steve is one of 25 Michigan attorneys who received the honor.
publication
May/June 2011
Steven L. Oberholtzer and Joshua  E. Ney, Ph.D. penned the article “Licensing: Choice of Law and Venue” for the May/June 2011 issue of Landslide.
publication
September 14, 2009
publication
October 27, 2008
book
2006
Steven L. Oberholtzer penned The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law, a primer published by Brinks Gilson & Lione in 2006. Copies available upon request by clicking here.
publication
October 2004
Press Releases & Events
August 15, 2017

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Steven L. Oberholtzer managing shareholder of the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based  Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 in the area of patent law...

August 15, 2017

CHICAGO—Fifteen attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States, have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018...

July 13, 2017

CHICAGO—Intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione is a “top U.S. boutique” and a “Chicago IP stalwart” with “deep reservoirs of prosecution and litigation experience,” according to Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) ...

June 06, 2017

CHICAGO—For the fourth consecutive year, Managing Intellectual Property, publisher of the annual comprehensive legal directory IP STARS, has accorded a Highly Recommended ranking to the Illinois office of intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione, and a Recommended ranking to the firm’s office in North Carolina. Managing IP also ranked Brinks’ office in Ann Arbor, Mich., office as Recommended...

May 31, 2017

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Managing Intellectual Property magazine (MIP)  named eleven attorneys from Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., to its annual list of IP Stars...

February 01, 2017

Ann Arbor, Mich.—Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, announced that Steven L. Oberholtzer, ...

January 31, 2017

Ann Arbor, Mich.—Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, announced that Brinks’ ...

August 29, 2016

ANN ARBOR—Steven L. Oberholtzer managing shareholder of the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based...

August 15, 2016

CHICAGO—Fifteen attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United  ...

June 01, 2016

ANN ARBOR, MI.—National law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione is “at the top of the list” again this year for intellectual property according to IAM Patent 1000 2016—The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine's guide to leading private practice patent professionals and firms.

June 01, 2016

CHICAGO—National law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione is “at the top of the list” again this year for intellectual property according to IAM Patent 1000 2016—The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine's guide to leading private practice patent professionals and firms.

May 19, 2016
ANN ARBOR –Managing Intellectual Property magazine (MIP) named nine attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., to its annual list of IP Stars. The attorneys with Michigan connections ...
May 19, 2016
CHICAGO—For the third year in a row, Managing Intellectual Property magazine (MIP) has designated intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione’s Illinois office as Highly Recommended in its annual rankings, and has ranked the ...
January 07, 2016
ANN ARBOR/Detroit – Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., and with offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit, is listed as the 9th largest intellectual property law firm in Southeast Michigan in the ...
December 10, 2015

ANN ARBOR, MI—Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms ...

November 16, 2015

CHICAGO—Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States...

August 28, 2015

ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer managing shareholder of the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based ...

August 17, 2015
CHICAGO—Thirteen attorneys at Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States, were recently listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016.  Eleven of the honored attorneys are based in ...
July 06, 2015
CHICAGO—Brinks Gilson and Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States, has again achieved recognition in the IAM Patent 1000 2015—The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, Intellectual Asset ...
June 01, 2015
CHICAGO—Nine attorneys at intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione have been named IP Stars for 2015 by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. For the second year in a row, the publication also designated Brinks' offices ...
May 26, 2015
ANN ARBOR – Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., announces three attorneys from the Ann Arbor office are among 10 Brinks attorneys selected by Managing Intellectual Property magazine to ...
March 18, 2015
ANN ARBOR– A report titled Patent Related Trends in the Automotive Industry, released today by Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., reviews patent filings and litigation activity from 2008 ...
October 23, 2014
CHICAGO—Gary M. Ropski, a shareholder at intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione and the firm's past president, has been named the #1 Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer in Illinois by Leading Lawyers, and fifty-nine ...
August 29, 2014
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., were selected by their peers for inclusion ...
August 19, 2014
CHICAGO—Sixteen shareholders at Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States, have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015. Thirteen of the ...
June 16, 2014
CHICAGO— Each year, Intellectual Asset Management magazine's IAM Patent 1000—The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners spotlights best-in-class patent prosecution, licensing and litigation practitioners and firms, and this year ...
June 06, 2014
ANN ARBOR – Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., announces four attorneys from the Ann Arbor office are among 14 Brinks attorneys selected by Managing Intellectual Property magazine to ...
June 03, 2014
CHICAGO—Fourteen attorneys at intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione have been selected by Managing Intellectual Property magazine to appear in its second edition of IP Stars for 2014. Brinks attorneys named include firm ...
May 29, 2014
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer, shareholder and managing partner of the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., was a recent guest on Comcast Newsmakers, a news show ...
January 17, 2014
ANN ARBOR/DETROIT – Six shareholders from the Michigan offices of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, have been named or reappointed firm-wide chairpersons of the firm’s legal and ...
January 07, 2014
ANN ARBOR - Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., announces the third edition of its intellectual property law primer, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law, is now available in ...
June 16, 2014
ANN ARBOR/DETROIT, MI.—Intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione's Detroit and Ann Arbor offices have again this year received high recognition in IAM Patent 1000—The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, placing ...
November 19, 2013
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., were selected by their peers for inclusion ...
August 15, 2013
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., were selected by their peers for inclusion ...
June 05, 2013
ANN ARBOR - Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., announces the publication of the third edition of its intellectual property law primer, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law. The ...
April 25, 2013
ANN ARBOR – Four attorneys from the Ann Arbor office of intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione have been recognized as IP Stars for 2013 by Managing Intellectual Property magazine for their insights into the intricacies ...
April 24, 2013
CHICAGO – Eleven attorneys at intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione have been recognized as IP Stars for 2013 by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, for their insights into the intricacies of practicing IP law and their ...
February 25, 2013
ANN ARBOR –Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., announces the availability of its new “IP Tool Kit,” a resource binder of information for dealing with routine intellectual ...
January 22, 2013
CHICAGO – Brinks Gilson & Lione has announced its 2013 board of directors, a group headed by firm president James R. Sobieraj and including shareholders William H. Frankel, Howard S. Michael, James P. Naughton, Steven L. Oberholtzer, ...
January 14, 2013
ANN ARBOR/DETROIT – Six attorneys from the Michigan offices of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., have been named or reappointed to firm-wide Practice Group Chairs within the Firm for ...
November 19, 2012
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer, managing partner of the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., has been recognized by his peers as a leading lawyer in ...
November 01, 2012
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., have been recognized by their peers as ...
October 05, 2012
CHICAGO – Eighteen attorneys from intellectual property law firm Brinks Gilson & Lione have been named as leaders in intellectual property law in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review ...
September 20, 2012
CHICAGO – The 2012 Super Lawyers Business Edition has named 24 attorneys from Brinks Gilson & Lione in the categories of Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property – Litigation respectively. The following Brinks attorneys are ...
September 13, 2012
ANN ARBOR – Steven L. Oberholtzer, Managing Partner of the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., has been named a Michigan Super Lawyer for 2012 in the practice area of ...
Honors
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2007-2018
  • Patent Law "Lawyer of the Year" - Ann Arbor, The Best Lawyers in America, 2018
  • Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2014-2015
  • Leading Patent Practitioner, Intellectual Asset Management magazine's "IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners," 2014-2017
  • "AV" Peer-Review Rated, highest ranking for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named among the "Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit," Dbusiness, 2013
  • IP Star, Managing Intellectual Property magazine, 2013, 2014, 2016-2017
  • Leader in the Law Award, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, 2012
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2006-2012, 2014
  • Certified Licensing Professional (CLP), 2009-Present
Affiliations
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
    Chair, Intellectual Property Law Section
  • Technology Transfer Society
  • Michigan Patent Law Association
  • Licensing Executives Society - Co-Chair, Michigan Chapter
  • Original Equipment Suppliers Association
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