Brooks Kushman Adds Four New Attorneys


SOUTHFIELD — Building upon the firm’s expertise and diversity, Brooks Kushman has added four attorneys to the firm’s Southfield office.

The new hires are: Kristin L. Murphy, Linda D. Mettes, Rachel A. Smith, and Dorne J. McKinnon-Rybicki.

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. In addition to prosecution experience, she also has extensive experience in the trademark, unfair competition and patent litigation arenas. Over the last 16 years, Murphy 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. 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. 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.

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