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November 9, 2011
Barbara Fornasiero

Two Attorneys from Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione's Ann Arbor Office Recognized as The Best Lawyers in America for 2012

Ann Arbor Office Also Receives Metropolitan First-Tier Patent Law Ranking

ANN ARBORSteven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., have been recognized by their peers as leading lawyers in their field by The Best Lawyers® in America for 2012. The 2012 edition of Best Lawyers was based on more than 3.9 million confidential evaluations from the top attorneys across the country; inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Additionally, Brinks received a national first-tier ranking in patent law, while the Ann Arbor office received a metropolitan first-tier ranking in patent law. The firm’s ranking appears in the current online issue of U.S. News and World Report.

Steve Oberholtzer was listed in his specialty area of patent law. He is the managing partner of the Ann Arbor office and has served on the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice focuses on patent and trademark counseling, corporate intellectual property policy development and administration, technology licensing, joint development and joint venture relationship agreements. He also has experience in United States Patent and Trademark Office administrative proceedings including interferences, re-examinations, re-issues, trademark oppositions and patent application preparation and prosecution. Mr. Oberholtzer provides opinions regarding infringement risks; design-around projects and patentability; litigation; and handling intellectual property issues involved in merger and acquisition transactions.

Mr. Oberholtzer has extensive experience and expertise in the intellectual property legal issues of the automotive industry. He has a lifelong interest in the industry and products, and was employed as a senior project engineer with a domestic OEM manufacturer and as in-house patent counsel for a Tier 1 supplier. In private practice, Mr. Oberholtzer has acted as primary outside counsel for a number of Tier 1 and lower Tier suppliers. These engagements included worldwide responsibility for all intellectual property issues and management of teams of attorneys handling all facets of these matters.

Mr. Oberholtzer has extensive experience in many mechanical and electro-mechanical disciplines and additional significant experience in technology areas including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. He has acted as trial counsel in a number of patent infringement litigation cases.

Mr. Oberholtzer is the principal author of a primer on intellectual property entitled, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, formerly known as the General Motors Institute, and received his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. He is a member of the Technology Transfer Society and the Licensing Executives Society. Mr. Oberholtzer is a resident of Chelsea.

Eric Sosenko was listed in his specialty areas of patent law and trademark law. His intellectual property law practice focuses on the procurement, enforcement and licensing of patents and trademarks in all industrial fields, including the mechanical, electro-mechanical, medical and material arts. He counsels on the strategic implementation and management of domestic and international intellectual property portfolios for various multinational clients and deals with a wide range of intellectual property issues. In addition to his U.S. practice, Mr. Sosenko has an extensive international practice with significant experience in international protection, both directly with all major foreign intellectual property offices and under various multinational treaties, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and has presented at seminars in both China and Japan.

Mr. Sosenko received his J.D. and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Mr. Sosenko is also Secretary/Treasurer and council member for the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and serves as the chairperson of Brinks’ Patent Reform Committee. He is a resident of Green Oak Township.

For 30 years, the top lawyers in the U.S. have helped make The Best Lawyers in America what The American Lawyer has called “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice” by candidly evaluating the work of other top lawyers in the same practice areas and geographic locations. Because lawyers are neither required nor allowed to pay a fee to be included, a listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded within the legal profession as a singular honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. Learn more at

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States and serves the intellectual property needs of clients around the world. Brinks has 150 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark and copyright law. The firm also advises on issues relating to intellectual asset management, trade secret, unfair competition, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments for companies in the electrical, chemical, and mechanical engineering sectors; the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and nanotechnology industries; and for companies whose work relates to Internet and computer technology law. The firm’s trademark practice works on behalf of clients who deal in a wide variety of products and services. Brinks is based in Chicago and has offices in Ann Arbor, Mich., Indianapolis, Ind., Research Triangle Park, N.C., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Washington, DC. More information is available at