Bill helps businesses protect their brands, inventions and copyrights to build business and avoid being sued. With more than 30 years experience, Bill has extensive knowledge in all aspects of patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright matters including litigation in a broad range of industries. He evaluates patents, trademarks, and copyrights along with advising clients on the protection of inventions, trademarks, and copyrightable subject matter. Bill is a highly sought-after IP attorney in part due to his proprietary client communication, and project management system, The Harmony System®.
Bill’s representation includes Fortune 500 clients, small to mid-size privately held companies, and startups. He approaches each client matter from the perspective of the business – whether it’s IP rights, IP infringement or litigation. Bill listens and asks questions to fully understand what’s critical to his client’s business. Unlike many IP attorneys, Bill understands that just having a patent is not important, that protecting the invention and providing value to the client is the true goal.
Bill has the unique ability to help clients avoid unnecessary litigation. He has represented numerous clients in resolving Intellectual Property litigation in the early stages, and often well before the lawsuit is even filed. Through extensive research of technologies throughout the world, he can typically find proof that the [competitor’s] patent is not valid or substantially limited in scope. He helps clients understand the costs of litigation, both financial and personal, and the many alternatives that are available. In the event litigation is unavoidable, Bill uses a team approach, putting the right person at the right cost doing the right job. With more than 70 IP specialists at various rates, he can provide superior value at extremely reasonable rates.
Bill has developed the Harmony System® to address the typical frustrations that clients have with their IP counsel. The Harmony System® is a three-step process that covers critical ongoing information to keep clients informed and ensure there are no surprises. Bill provides regular presentations and training seminars for his clients and their employees on Intellectual Property issues of importance to their business. He also investigates his clients’ businesses to better understand their business and provide relevant information to them.
His book, The Business Owner’s Guide to Intellectual Property – Turn Your Ideas Into Gold, was recently published by Written In Detroit Publishing Company. It provides an easy to understand guide to IP, the importance of IP to every business and an overview of the Harmony® System. Bill has also co-authored Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association, and The Entrepreneur’s Guide to The Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws.
Visit IPGuy.com for more information on Bill’s speaking engagements, published works, and updates on the law.
Education & Credentials
University of ToledoB.S.M.E., 1979
- Pi Tau Sigma
University of Toledo, College of LawJ.D., 1984
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
- Intellectual Property
- Best Lawyers in America®
- Intellectual Property, Litigation - Patent, Patent Law, Trademark Law, 2009-2023
- Managing Intellectual Property Magazine
- Outstanding IP Litigator in Michigan, Finalist
- "IP Star"
Allmark Doors, Inc.
Represented Allmark in action brought by Competitor for patent infringement and unfair competition. Case dismissed with prejudice by Plaintiff near close of discovery.
Great Lakes Air
Represented Great Lakes Air in actions against several infringers for patent infringement relating commercial air filters. All cases resulted in settlements favorable to Great Lakes Air.
Affinity Tool Inc.
Represented Affinity Tool Works, L.L.C. in defending against patent infringement case brought by patent holder Eugene Emerson relating to clamp fixtures in the Central District of California; case settled after one of the patents which was the subject of the lawsuit was invalidated in reexamination.
Represented RPB Safety in litigation against a competitor for (I) federal trademark infringement (II) federal trademark dilution); (III) federal unfair competition and false designation of origin); (IV) trademark dilution under TEX. BUS. & COM. CODE § 16.103; (V) trademark infringement under Texas common law; (VI) unfair competition under Texas common law; (VII) misappropriation under Texas common law; and (VIII) unjust enrichment. The case was settled favorably for the client.
Affinity Tool Works v Sunzi
Represented Affinity Tools Works against infringement of several design patents. Shortly after filing the lawsuit and discussing our position, the infringer agreed to pay money damages to Affinity and stop selling the accused products.
Qualitas Manufacturing Inc. v. Pentagon Manufacturing Corporation
Represented the defendant Pentagon in infringement lawsuit relating to a utility patent. The lawsuit was dropped almost immediately in view of evidence located in an international search.
Osmundson v. Wearparts
Represented the defendant in a lawsuit involving a utility patent. The case was settled for a nominal dollar amount before an answer was filed.
Extensive experience in all aspects of patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright matters including litigation in a broad range of technologies, including:
- Surgical and medical apparatus
- Food processing and related equipment
- Welding equipment and processes
- Metal cutting tools
- Marine products
- Hydrostatic drives
- Fastener assemblies and manufacturing processes
- Tool holding assemblies
- Gas spring assemblies
- Farm and garden equipment
- ABS brake systems
- Seat assemblies
- Die assemblies
- Mold assemblies and controls
- Computer hardware and software
- Heating and air conditioning
- Filter systems
- Wood working equipment
- Cement cutting equipment
- State Bar of Michigan
- Intellectual Property Law Section (Former Chairman)
- American Bar Association
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
- International Trademark Association
- Licensing Executive Society
Kellogg Company – A Fortune 500 food company, represented for over 25 years.
Delphi Automotive – A Fortune 500 automotive supplier, represented for over 15 years.
Federal Mogul Corporation – A Fortune 500 automotive supplier, represented for over 15 years.
Stryker Instruments – A Fortune 500 medical products supplier, represented for over 12 years.
Beijing West Industries – A major Chinese automotive supplier, represented for over 5 years.
Trynex – A leading producer of ice control and turf equipment, represented for over 20 years, since their inception.
Great Lakes Air – A leading manufacturer of Air Filtering Equipment, represented for over 10 years.
Affinity Tool Works – A leading manufacturer of wood working equipment, represented for over 10 years.
Yantai Shougang Magnetic Materials, Inc. – A major Chinese manufacturer of industrial magnets, represented for over 1 year.
Truck Hero – A leading manufacturer of truck accessories.
RPB – A leading manufacturer of industrial respirators.
Ag Focus – A leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment.
Pantero – A leading supplier of business packaging products.
Dawson Tire – A leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment.
- Author, ''Russian Doll' Copyright Infringement: Beware What's in the Background," IP Watchdog, May 2022
- Author, "Intellectual Property Challenges in Business Collaboration," Bloomberg Law, February 2022
- Author, "Lessons From Moderna's COVID Vaccine Patent Dispute," Law360, January 2022
- Author, "The Perks and Pitfalls of Creating Prolific AI Inventors," VentureBeat, December 2021
- Author, "What Every Business Needs to Know About Intellectual Property Rights," StartupNation, November 2021
- Author, “Will Non-Competes Go Extinct?,” SmallBizDaily, August 2021
- Presenter, “Turn Your Ideas Into Gold – A Guide to Intellectual Property,” National Society of Engineers, April 2021
- Author, “Cheers to World IP Day!” Detroit Legal News, April 2021
- Author, “A New Online Board to Punish Infringers,” QuickRead, April 2021
- Author, “The New Copyright Small Claims Board Presents Problems for Copyright Owners and Small Businesses,” IP Watchdog, March 2021
- Author, “California Prohibits Post-Employment Assignments; Has Pandora’s Box Opened for Michigan and Other States?,” Detroit Legal News, February 2021
- Quoted, “50 Best Career Tips of 2020,” Music Connection, January 2021
- Author, “Business Advisors: Know the Three Intellectual Property Traps Ensnaring IP Holders,” Detroit Legal News, December 2020
- Author, “For Women Inventors, A Tool For Getting Recognized: Ensure You Are Listed as an Inventor on Patents,” Detroit Legal News, October 2020
- Author, “Sued Over Social Media Photos: What Musicians Can Learn From Katy Perry’s Court Case,” Music Connection, April 2020
- Author, “If You Produce Creativity Content, then Learn from Taylor Swift,” Music Connection, March 2020
- Author, “Five Royal Trademark Lessons From the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” IP Watchdog, February 2020
- Author, "The US Postal Service guilty of copyright infringement . . . again!," IPGuy.com, January 2019
- Author, "Take Steps to Deter the Spy in Your Business," IP Watchdog, September 2019.
- Author, "How to Keep Your Trademarks Forever," IP Watchdog, May 2019.
- “Your New Product Launch…Crushed by Patent Infringement: How to Avoid a Nightmare,” Food Manufacturing, June 2014
- “Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer”, A Transactions Based Guide to Intellectual Property Law Third Edition” ABA Business Law Section, contributing author, 2014
- Intellectual Property Presentation Southern China University of Technology “The American Invents Act”, 2012
- Presentation on “Changes to US Patent Law” presented to Kellogg Company 2012
- Presentation on “Changes to US Patent Law, The American Invents Act”, Shanghai Associates Group 2012.
- “Intellectual Property Deskbook for the Business Lawyer, A Transactions Based Guide to Intellectual Property Law Second Edition” ABA Business Law Section, contributing author, 2009
- “The Supreme Court’s decision in KSR v. Teleflex, New Concerns for Patents” Business Law Today, March/April 2008
- “Ownership Issues Involving Employees and Consultants,” The Licensing Journal
- “Information and Innovations of Employees and Consultants – Ownership and Licensing Issues,” Licensing and Other I.P. Transactions, American Conference Institute
- “Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights,” Laches, Oakland County Bar Association Magazine
- “Employment at the Patent and Trademark Office: Can You Leave With What You Learned?” JPOS
Vetted Vistage Speaker, regularly presenting to business owners.
Author of a monthly column on intellectual property for The Wire Association International.
- Frequent Speaker at The National Speakers Association Annual Conference on Intellectual Property, The Wire Association Annual Meeting, and The Ontrapalooza Annual Conference.