Lawyer brings auto expertise to IP practice

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In boyhood, Matt Mowers looked forward to seeing each new company vehicle his father, a GM executive, brought home every 90 days.

“My favorite thing would be to explore every part of the new car, program the radio, fix the seats and explain it all to my parents as if they had never driven a car before,” he says.

So it’s no surprise that Mowers, now an Intellectual Property attorney for Quinn Law Group in Novi, would go on to earn his undergrad degree in mechanical engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute (now Kettering University).

His interest in law was sparked by a high school practical law class and then by the attorney parents of a close friend. While watching “The Blues Brothers” movie for the umpteenth time at their house, Mowers discussed his college plans for an engineering degree – and they suggested he look into patent law. 

“It sounded fascinating and I wrote about an interest in patent law in my college essays,” he says. “The essays resulted in a call from Brooks Kushman to interview for an intern position as part of my GMI cooperative engineering program – and the rest is history.”

He spent 22 years at Brooks Kushman in Southfield as an intern, patent agent, associate and shareholder, and, while working full time as a patent agent there, studied law in the evening at University of Detroit Mercy Law. The majority of his fellow students also juggled law studies with full time jobs.

“The evening program developed camaraderie and good friendships that continued as professional relationships well after law school, helping each of us achieve our goals,” he says.

His background in automotive engineering later served Mowers well in seconded roles as acting Chief Intellectual Property Counsel for Jaguar Land Rover and acting Intellectual Property Counsel for the Global Seating Systems Division of Lear Corporation.

“Working as seconded counsel for a client is a unique and rewarding experience, especially for those who have worked solely on the private practice side of the business,” he says. 

“I enjoyed working with all levels of the corporate team, from evaluating patents with the research and development teams to working with senior management to integrate and implement intellectual property strategies. The opportunity to work with both an OEM and a Tier I supplier helped me to understand and provide more focused IP services to automotive clients.”

Previously a partner in the Technology and Intellectual Property Group at Warner Norcross & Judd in Southfield, Mowers joined the Quinn Law Group last October, where he manages the firm’s international trademark practice and concentrates his practice on the preparation, prosecution, clearance, licensing and enforcement of U.S. and foreign patents and trademarks.

He litigates trademark disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and offers specialized legal and business support to clients, including developing and managing global trademark portfolios, pre-litigation counseling and litigation support, intellectual property asset strategy and valuation, formulating joint development and technology agreements and due diligence support for business transactions involving intellectual property.

“I enjoy working with and learning from engineering and technical experts and evaluating cutting-edge technology that may change an industry in the near future,” he says. “The patent procurement process is highly collaborative which allows IP attorneys to understand a client’s business and work as a partner to help the client’s business succeed.”

Mowers is active in several professional organizations, including the International Trademark Association, American Bar Association, Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Intellectual Property Owners and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

A native of Rochester Hills, Mowers makes his home in Northville with his wife Carrie, sons Jacob and James, and daughter Rachel. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing basketball and tennis, and coaching his children’s flag football and baseball teams. He also serves on the City of Northville’s Planning Commission. 

“I joined the Planning Commission to assist city leaders, small business owners and property owners develop and thrive in the city while maintaining the charm and safety of the existing residential areas,” he says.

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