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Brooks Kushman Announces Four New Attorneys

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Further Expands Medical Device and Trademark Practice Groups

Building upon the firm’s expertise and diversity, Brooks Kushman P.C. – a nationally ranked intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm – has hired Kristin L. Murphy, Linda D. Mettes, Rachel A. Smith and Dorne J. McKinnon-Rybicki, adding more than 60 years of combined legal experience at the firm’s Southfield office. The announcement was made by Brooks Kushman President Mark Cantor.

“The specialized backgrounds that our new attorneys bring, make them ideal additions to the growing Brooks Kushman team,” Cantor said. “Dorne will add global expertise to our nationally recognized trademark department, while Kristin, Linda and Rachel will be significant additions to our medical device and life science practice, particularly in the areas of patent litigation, mechanical and electrical patent prosecution.”

Brooks Kushman’s medical device and life science practice serves a wide range of companies across various technologies. Currently, the firm has 16 professionals that specialize in preparing and prosecuting patents for companies that manufacture medical devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, polymers, laboratory instruments, imaging devices and surgical tools, among many others.

Murphy’s practice at Brooks Kushman will focus on domestic and foreign patent prosecution. She will join Brooks Kushman’s medical device team to further expand the practice area.

Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, Murphy was a managing partner at Rader, Fishman & Grauer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. In addition to prosecution experience, she also has extensive experience in the trademark, unfair competition and patent litigation arenas. Over the last 16 years, Kristin has worked closely with medical device manufacturers to protect their innovations and develop strategic global portfolios for small startup medical device companies, as well as large Fortune 500 entities. She has extensive experience with biopsy, ophthalmic and neurosurgical devices, robotic catheters for minimally invasive surgical procedures, spinal implants and tools for spinal surgery, and medical dressings. Prior to joining the legal field, Murphy was a project engineer for a manufacturing company. She earned a Juris Doctor and Masters of Intellectual Property degree from the University of New Hampshire (formally the Franklin Pierce Law Center) in Concord, N.H. and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Western New England University in Springfield, Mass.

Specializing in IP litigation, Mettes brings nearly 20 years of litigation experience in a variety of technologies in the mechanical, electrical and life science industries. In the medical device and life science arena, Mettes has experience with neurosurgical devices, stents, ophthalmic surgical equipment, implants, medical imaging contrast agents, robotic catheters, vaccines, stimulants, analgesics, hormone replacement and birth control pills.

Before joining Brooks Kushman, Mettes was also a partner at Rader, Fishman & Grauer for several years and at Kenyon & Kenyon in New York for nearly a decade, where she practiced all facets of IP litigation. She earned a Juris Doctor and graduated cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law in Evanston, Ill. and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois in Champaign, prior to working as a mechanical engineer.

Specializing in preparing and prosecuting patent applications, Smith will add depth to Brooks Kushman’s nationally recognized patent practice. Smith also previously practiced Rader, Fishman & Grauer prior to joining Brooks Kushman. Her experience goes beyond the patent prosecution arena and includes patent litigation, patent licensing and negotiations thereof, as well as freedom to operate and opinion work. Smith’s practice is primarily focused in the automotive, electronics and medical device industries. Smith has prosecuted numerous domestic and foreign patent applications relating to medical devices. She has also performed due diligence and provided strategy and counseling to several medical supply companies. Smith earned her Juris Doctor from Wayne State University in Detroit and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Ohio Northern University in Ada.

With more than 20 years of combined in-house and outside counsel experience, McKinnon-Rybicki will focus her trademark practice on foreign and domestic clearance, prosecution, opposition and cancellation proceedings, and enforcement.

Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, she served as a trademark attorney for Harley-Davidson, where she oversaw all aspects of trademark registration and brand protection in the Latin America region and acted as primary legal counsel to the licensing department. McKinnon-Rybicki earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University in East Lansing.

“We welcome Kristin, Linda, Dorne and Rachel who are joining many other female attorneys at the firm,” said Sangeeta Shah, shareholder and chief diversity officer. “Brooks Kushman is committed to furthering diversity and fostering an inclusive culture within the firm and our community.”

About Brooks Kushman

Established in 1983, Brooks Kushman P.C. is a nationally ranked intellectual property (IP) and technology focused law firm with offices in Michigan and California. The firm has more than 70 lawyers and agents specializing in various disciplines. Brooks Kushman has a reputation for providing leading IP strategy and counseling with a focus on the business objectives of its clients and represents clients across many industries with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is recognized by a number of leading legal publications and resources, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, IP Law & Business magazine and the Law360 organization. For more information, please visit

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