Michael N. Spink
Shareholder

Clients and colleagues alike note that Mike is “one of the most well-rounded intellectual property attorneys, moving deftly between patents, trademarks and copyrights.”

Mike helps clients effectively manage their intellectual assets, including in-house policies and procedures, procurement, licensing and opinions. 

He chairs the firm’s Intellectual Asset Management group, helping clients leverage patent data into business efficiencies and growth.   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.

Mike also chairs the firm’s Licensing practice group, and he is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).  He has extensive experience in complex transactions involving intellectual property, including due diligence, acquisition, disposition, and bankruptcy issues.

His patent practice extends to numerous industries, including the automotive, medical device, and software industries. His trademark practice comprises worldwide portfolio management, clearance, prosecution, licensing and enforcement in federal district court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Mr. Spink's copyright practice includes registration and licensing, and he is currently a contributing author on copyright law in a quarterly publication of the American Bar Association.

As a Gen X·er, Mike straddles both the old and new in technology, business, and intellectual property protection.

Education
  • J.D., cum laude
    The John Marshall Law School, 1999
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, cum laude
    University of Michigan, 1996
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • U.S. Dist. Court, E.D. Michigan
  • U.S. Dist. Court, N.D. Illinois
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Area of Focus
Experience | Legal Experience

Brinks Gilson & Lione, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Shareholder, 2008-Present
Associate, June 2002-2007

Leydig, Voit & Mayer, Ltd., Rockford, Illinois
Associate, July 1999-June 2002

Forward Thinking
in the media
April 24, 2017
On April 24, 2017, Legal News published an article written by Michael Spink discussing unusual trademarking trends for World IP Day which is on April 26, 2017. To read the article, please click here.
publication
March 15, 2017

On March 15, 2017, Michael Spink's article, "The Trivial Trademark Bracket" was published in Law360.

in the media
March 15, 2017
On March 15, 2017, Law360 published "A March Madness Bracket Based On Team Trademarks" written by Michael Spink.  Please click here to read more.
alert
July 14, 2016

On June 23, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to exit the European Union (EU) – a decisive move whimsically known ...

alert
July 12, 2016

The Federal Circuit, in an en banc decision, held that to be “on sale” under pre-AIA § 102(b), a product must be the ...

in the media
April 26, 2016
On World IP Day, April 26, 2016, Michael Spink was interviewed on a Detroit local radio station, WWJ, regarding trademark trends.
in the media
February 05, 2016

On February 4, 2016 Mike Spink, Bill Boudreaux, Jon Beaupre and L.G. Almeda were mentioned in the ...

in the media
August 25, 2015
On August 25, 2015 Mike Spink was featured in Detroit Legal Times regarding his article, 'Shh...Confidentiality agreements should be treated like trade secrets to ensure enforceability.'
in the media
July 23, 2015
On July 23, 2015 Mike Spink's blog was mentioned in Crain's Detroit Business, Guest Blog Section, in the article, 'Why confidentiality agreements should be treated like trade secrets.' Click here to read more.
in the media
March 19, 2015
On March 18, 2015 Briana Emerson and Mike Spink's article, 'We've Got Spirit - And It's Trademarked' was published in Law360. Click here to read more.
publication
March 18, 2015
On March 18, 2015 Mike Spink and Briana Emerson's article, "We've Got Spirit - And It's Trademarked" was published on Law360. Click here to read the article
publication
March 17, 2015
.sdfds { text-align: center; } School colors have long served as a way for students, alumni and fans to show allegiance to their schools. Various color schemes appear on the flag flown on game day, are shouted as a rally call, or are ...
in the media
November 07, 2014
On November 7, 2014 Michael N. Spink was quoted in the Law360 article, 'Weird Marks: 3 Tips For Using Nontraditional Trademarks.' Click here to read more.
in the media
September 11, 2014
On September 11, 2014, Michael Spink and John Lingl were mentioned in MLive’s Ann Arbor Business Briefs for their inclusion as “Michigan Rising Stars 2014” by Michigan Super Lawyers. Click here to read more.
in the media
August 18, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Oakland Countysection on August 18, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
August 15, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Detroit Legal News section on August 14, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
August 01, 2014
On July 27, 2014, Mike Spink was mentioned in Livingston County Daily Press in their “Business Briefs” section regarding being named on Intellectual Asset Management magazine’s “IAM Strategy 300—The World’s ...
in the media
July 22, 2014
Mike Spink was mentioned in the InsideCounsel article, 'Ohio State files trademark infringement suit over O-H-I-O T-shirt image,' on July 22, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
July 21, 2014
On July 21, 2014, Mike Spink was featured on News Radio 610 WTVN on Joel Riley’s radio show discussing trademark issues regarding “O-H-I-O” silhouette use on t-shirts. The podcast (audio recording) is available online. Please ...
in the media
July 17, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Detroit Legal News section on July 17, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
July 17, 2014
Mike Spink was mentioned in The Columbus Dispatch in the article, 'Ohio State sues over T-shirt of fans forming O-H-I-O,' on July 17, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
July 10, 2014
Mike Spink was mentioned in MLive.com's People & Achievements section on July 10, 2014. Click here to read more.
in the media
July 09, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Macomb County Legal News section.
in the media
July 07, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Oakland County Legal News section. Click here to read more.
in the media
June 26, 2014
Mike Spink's Q&A was posted on LegalNews.com under the Detroit Legal News section. Click here to read more.
publication
February 18, 2014
Michael N. Spink and Nicholas J. Angelocci wrote, ' Inter Partes Review: A Look At The Companies Under Attack,' for Law360 on February 18, 2014. Click here to read the article.
publication
February 2014
Michael N. Spink and summer associate Briana Emerson wrote “Non-traditional Trademarks Taking a Fashionable Lead,” for the February 2014 issue of Apparel magazine. Read the article here.
publication
October 02, 2013
publication
June 2012
Michael N. Spink and John A. Lingl wrote “Intellectual Property in M&A Transactions,” for the June 2012 issue of The Corporate Counselor.
publication
March 12, 2006
Under Michigan's Single Business Tax (SBT), non-Michigan corporations are often able to use the SBT to achieve state tax benefits that cannot be obtained by Michigan corporations. These benefits are obtained through a subsidiary set-up to ...
Presentations
  • "Two Brinks attorneys discuss trademarks at WCBA event," Washtenaw County Legal News, Troy, Michigan, March 28, 2016
  • "Introduction to BGL and Non-Traditional Trademarks," A2Y Chamber, Early Edition, Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 18, 2015
  • "Recent Decisions Affecting IP Licensing," Brinks Learn & Links, Dearborn, Michigan, June 24, 2015
  • "Beyond Words: Non-Traditional Trademarks," Brinks Learn & Links, Brighton, Michigan, June 11, 2013
  • "Intellectual Property Agreements and Licensing," University of Michigan- Dearborn, Product Realization Technology Commercialization Program, February 6, 2010
  • "Corporate IP Conference" Law Bulletin Seminars, July 15, 2009
  • "Bankruptcy Issues in Technology Licensing," Ann Arbor Intellectual Property Seminar, June 10, 2009
  • "Intellectual Property Fundamentals" Ann Arbor SCORE, February 13, 2008
  • “Bankruptcy Issues in Technology Licensing,” Ann Arbor SPARK, June 22, 2007
  • Podcast: “Trademark Primer,” Mitechnews.Com, March 30, 2007
  • “Protecting Your Identity: Trademark Fundamentals,” Ann Arbor IT Zone, August 25, 2006
Representative Matters
  • Diamond Power International Inc. v. Clyde Bergemann Inc. (TTAB 2014). Representing Diamond Power in an opposition proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  The TTAB sustained the opposition in favor of Diamond Power.
  • EBC Brakes USA, Inc., et al., v. Allan M. Teagan, et al., (E.D. Mich. 2014).  Represented EBC Brakes in a trademark, copyright and unfair competition suit.  The case settled with a consent judgment.
  • Detroit Tigers, Inc. v. Detroit Muscle, LLC (TTAB 2007). Represented Detroit Muscle in an opposition proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
  • ASC, Inc. v. Dura Convertible Systems, Inc. (E.D. Mich 2006). Represented Dura Convertible Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Collins & Aikman Corporation, in an adversary proceeding in a bankruptcy court. Dura was accused of patent infringement. The case settled.
  • Wilhelm Karmann GmbH v. Dura Convertible Systems, Inc. (E.D. Mich. 2006). Represented Dura Convertible Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Collins & Aikman Corporation, in an adversary proceeding in a bankruptcy court. Dura was accused of patent infringement. The case settled.
  • William Beaumont Hospital v. United Physicians, P.C. (E.D. Mich. 2004). Represented Beaumont in a trademark infringement action. The case settled.
  • William Beaumont Hospital v. United Physicians, P.C. (TTAB 2004). Represented Beaumont in an opposition proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The proceeding settled.
Press Releases & Events
April 19, 2017

Ann Arbor, Mich. --- The world celebrates intellectual property because IP puts a value on inventions, literary and artistic works and name brands and logos that move commerce, create wealth and make a distinctive mark. As cerebral as it may sound though, intellectual property has a fun side, too. With the celebration of World IP Day on April 26, Michael N. Spink, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, looks at a growing area of intellectual property: unusual trademarks such as sound, scent, texture, motion and color combinations...

March 27, 2017

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michael N. Spink, an intellectual property attorney and shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, has been named to IAM Strategy 300 – The World’s Leading IP Strategists, the ninth annual guide to globally renowned creators of IP value published by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine. The guide will be launched at the tenth annual IPBC Global in Ottawa, Canada, on June 18. It is the second time Spink has been named to the list...

February 01, 2017

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michael N. Spink, an intellectual property attorney and shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms...

January 04, 2017

ANN ARBOR, MICH.-Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law ...

October 21, 2016

ANN ARBOR—Michael N. Spink, an intellectual property attorney and shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of...

March 18, 2016

ANN ARBOR – Briana Emerson and Shareholder Michael N. Spink, intellectual property attorneys...

August 20, 2015
ANN ARBOR – According to Michael N. Spink, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., the news this summer that Ford Motor Company was charged with theft ...
March 17, 2015
ANN ARBOR – For decades, fans have been sporting various color combinations to show allegiance to their school. However, according to a report by Briana Emerson and Michael Spink, intellectual property attorneys with Brinks Gilson & Lione, ...
September 02, 2014
ANN ARBOR – John A. Lingl and Michael N. Spink, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., have been named Michigan Rising Stars 2014 by Michigan Super ...
July 08, 2014
ANN ARBOR – Michael N. Spink, shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., has been named to IAM Strategy 300—The World’s Leading IP Strategists, the ...
July 01, 2014
CHICAGO—James R. Sobieraj, Allen R. Baum and Michael N. Spink, shareholders at Brinks Gilson & Lione, have been named to IAM Strategy 300—The World’s Leading IP Strategists, the sixth annual guide to globally renowned creators ...
March 18, 2014
Pig calls and reality show catch phrases also aim for trademark protection   ANN ARBOR, MICH – The familiar Old Spice whistle is a decades-old jingle, but owner Procter & Gamble has just now applied to federally register the sound ...
March 14, 2014
ANN ARBOR –Michael Spink, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., has been reappointed to a second two year term on the Intellectual Property Owners ...
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 14, 2014
CHICAGO -- Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, has announced the 2014 chairpersons of its legal and industry practice groups and geographic task forces. The firm added a new practice group ...
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 ...
May 16, 2013
ANN ARBOR ---The Michigan Chapter of the Licensing Executive Society (LES) announces its next meeting will be held on Wednesday May 22, 2013 at the Ann Arbor office of intellectual property law firm, Brinks Gilson & Lione. The Licensing ...
January 15, 2013
CHICAGO – Brinks Gilson & Lione has added four new attorneys as chairs of its firm-wide practice groups and formed two new task forces to focus on intellectual property legal services to clients in Germany and Brazil. Appointees include ...
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 ...
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 ...
June 8, 2012
ANN ARBOR – Michael N. Spink and John A. Lingl, attorneys in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., have co-authored an article in the June 2012 issue of The Corporate ...
Honors
  • Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, Law Bulletin Publishing Company, 2016
  • Leading Intellectual Property Strategist, Intellectual Asset Management magazine's "IAM 300 - A Guide to the World's Leading IP Strategists," 2014, 2017
  • Certified Licensing Professional (CLP), 2010
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Stars 2010-2014 
  • Staff Editor, John Marshall Law Review, 1999
Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
    Intellectual Property Section
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Licensing Executives Society
    Co-chair, Michigan Chapter of LES
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association
    Management Committee, 2014-2015
  • Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association
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