Steven L. Underwood




Tania Rentz

underwood_judicial_editionSteven Underwood, a partner of the firm, is an intellectual property law litigator who, for over two decades, has led or participated in more than seventy lawsuits in federal courts around the country involving patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights, including several successful appearances before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, he successfully argued on behalf of the defendant that the plaintiff’s patents covered a mere abstract idea—with the CAFC agreeing, after Alice, that the patents were invalid. He brings a pragmatic approach to his litigation matters, with his clients’ business objectives at the forefront before, during, and at the end of the litigation. Steve also has substantial patent and trademark prosecution and licensing experience. He advises clients in all aspects of intellectual property law and in many technical arts, including mechanical, pharmaceutical, electrical, food science, and software technologies.

Steve has a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, a B.M.E. from the University of Detroit Mercy, and practical experience as an automotive engineer. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and several federal district and appellate circuit courts. Steve is also a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Steve has the highest overall peer AV rating according to Martindale-Hubbell.


University of Detroit Mercy School of Law., J.D. magna cum laude, 1989
University of Detroit Mercy, B.M.E., 1981


Patent, trademark, and copyright litigation
Patent and trademark application preparation and prosecution
Licensing and related intellectual property contracts, including non-disclosure and non-competition agreements
Patentability and freedom to operate opinions
Patent and trademark portfolio reviews


U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
State Bar of Michigan
Michigan Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

  • Fortifiber, Inc. v. Forta Corporation and Forta-Kote, LLC,
    Case No. 3:16-cv-00066 (D. Nev.) (trademark)
  • SAF-Holland, Inc. v. Hendrickson USA, LLC,
    Case No. 1:14-cv-00650 (W.D. Mich.) (patent – axle lift assemblies)
  • Planet Bingo, LLC v. VKGS LLC,
    1:12-cv-00219-RHB (W.D. Mich.)  (patent – electronic gaming system)
  • Hollymatic Corp. and James Azzar v. Interstate Meat & Provision d/b/a Sterling Meat Co., 2:12-cv-03246-RAGR (C.D. Cali.) (patent – meat packing system)
  • Tiyah Isom-Morris v. Kimberly-Clark Corp.,
    1:12-cv-00615 (W.D. Mich.) (design patent – bedding products)
  • Leco Corp. v. Pier 33 on the Cheboygan et al.,
    1:11-cv-723 (W.D. Mich.) (trademark)
  • Prime Solution, Inc. v. Fournier Indus., Inc.,
    1:11-cv-00606 (W.D. Mich.) (patent – water treatment systems)
  • Geocel, LLC v. Chem Link, Inc.,
    3:10-cv-474 (N.D. Ind.) (patent – roofing membranes)
  • Piggy Pushers, LLC v. Skidders Footwear, Inc.,
    1:10-cv-644 (W.D. Mich.) (patent – toddler footwear)
  • Schering-Plough Healthcare Prod. Inc. v. L. Perrigo Co.,
    09-cv-906-HB (D. Del.) (trademark)
  • Marzetti Co. v. Roskam Baking Co.,
    2:09 cv-585 (S.D. Ohio) (trademark)
  • CTB Inc. v. Thorp Equip.,
    3:09-cv-374 (N.D. Ind.) (patent – hog feeders)
  • TPI Holdings, Inc. v. Shane Williams Enter., Inc.,
    91190280 (T.T.A.B.) (trademark)
  • Process Wastewater Tech., Inc. v. Steinhardt GmbH, et al.,
    1:09-cv-028 (E.D. Tenn.) (patent – wastewater runoff)
  • McKechnie Vehicle Components v. Lacks Indus.,
    02:09 cv-11594 (E.D. Mich.) (patent – wheel cladding)
  • Patent Rights Protection Group v. Nova & SPEC Int’l,
    2:08-cv-00663 (D. Nev.) (patent – gaming systems)
  • Patent Rights Protection Group v. VGT & SPEC Int’l,
    2:08-cv-00662 (D. Nev.) (patent – gaming systems)
  • Patent Rights Protection Group v. Cadillac Jack & SPEC Int’l,
    2:08-cv-00660 (D. Nev.) (patent – gaming systems)
  • SPEC Int’l v. Patent Rights Protection Group,
    1:08 cv 662 (W.D. Mich.) (patent – gaming systems)
  • Southwest Agri-Plastics v. Big Dutchman Pig Equip., GmbH & Big Dutchman, Inc., 3:08-cv-00037 (N.D. Tex.)