Biography Photo of Steven L Oberholtzer

Steven L. Oberholtzer

As a lifelong auto enthusiast, Steven has never been far from the action. Having worked as a senior project engineer at General Motors, representing clients in the automotive industry seemed like a natural next step. He has served as in-house patent counsel for a Tier 1 supplier, as well as acting as primary outside counsel for a number of Tier 1 and lower Tier suppliers in private practice. Now, having gained decades of experience representing automotive industry entities, clients look to him not only for his handling of tactical matters such as patent applications, but his ability to foresee legal challenges which may be coming their way.

Outside of the automotive scope, Steven has acquired substantial knowledge in a variety of mechanical and electromechanical technology areas, including medical devices, lasers, fiber optics, optical devices and heavy industrial equipment. He speaks and is frequently published on the topic of intellectual property policy development, and regularly provides opinions on infringement risks, design-around projects, patentability, litigation, and intellectual property issues surrounding merger and acquisition transactions. He has experience in United States Patent and Trademark Office administrative proceedings, including trademark oppositions and patent application preparation and prosecution. Another active area of his practice is in negotiating licensing and joint development agreements, along with other agreements involving intellectual property terms and conditions.

Education & Credentials


Detroit College of Law

J.D., 1981

General Motors Institute

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1977

Bar Admission

  • Michigan


  • Chambers USA:America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Intellectual Property 
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Patent Law, 2007-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Patent Law, 2018, 2020-2022
  • Intellectual Asset Management Magazine
    • The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners," 2014-2018
  •  Dbusiness Magazine
    • "Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit," 2013, 2018
  • Managing Intellectual Property Magazine
    • "IP Star," 2013, 2014, 2016-2018, 2020, 2023
  • Law Bulletin Publishing Company
    • Leading Intellectual Property Lawyer, Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2017
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Intellectual Property Law, 2006-2016
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly
    • "Leader in the Law," 2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating 
  • Certified Licensing Professional, 2009-2021

Prominent Assignments

  • 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.

Professional Involvement

  • Technology Transfer Society
  • Michigan Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
  • Licensing Executives Society 
  • American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association

Community Involvement

  • Elder with Dexter Michigan United Church of Christ

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
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