Press Releases | 09/14/2010

Brooks Kushman Veteran Burton Retires After Successful Half Century Legal Career


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Sept. 14, 2010 – Intellectual property (IP) legal veteran Ralph M. Burton recently retired from Brooks Kushman law firm after a successful 56-year career. Burton, who was a senior attorney at the time of his retirement, practiced both domestic and international patent and trademark law.    

“Ralph was an exceptional lawyer, mentor and friend to many throughout his extensive legal career,” said Mark Cantor, president, Brooks Kushman. “Since joining Brooks Kushman in January 1988, Ralph has been a key component to the firm`s growth and success. His experience and contributions have helped establish the standards of excellence in many areas of the firm.”

Burton began his practice in 1954 at Burton and Parker, a law firm headed by his father, Ralph J. Burton. The history of the firm goes back to 1909 when R. Parker was the lead patent attorney for Henry Ford in the famous Selden v Ford patent litigation. After the firm merged with Brooks Kushman in 1988, he established a successful practice employing a team-oriented approach to determine cost-effective strategies and solutions for a variety of the firm`s corporate and independent clients.

“Brooks Kushman pays tribute to Ralph for his long career practicing intellectual property law,” said James A. Kushman, chairman and CEO, Brooks Kushman. “On behalf of the entire Brooks Kushman organization, I would like to thank Ralph for his efforts over the past 22 years and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Burton is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, of which he served as president from 1968 to 1969. He earned a juris doctor degree from Wayne State University in Detroit and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

“Ralph`s retirement is especially noteworthy as he is the first attorney to retire from Brooks Kushman,” Kushman said. “Celebrating his long career and dedication further highlights the depth of experience and expertise of our lawyers.”

Founded in 1983 by five IP attorneys, Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading IP and commercial law firm based in Southfield, Mich. with an office in Los Angeles. Since its inception, the firm has grown to more than 70 lawyers and patent agents, gaining a reputation both nationally and internationally as a leader in providing cutting-edge, timely and cost-effective IP counseling.

Brooks Kushman counts four U.S. Fortune 100 companies among its clients and is often recognized by peers and leading trade publications. Brooks Kushman is: a Go-To Law Firm® selected by the top 500 companies, according to Corporate Counsel magazine; a “Best at Client Focus” firm, according to large and Fortune 1000 companies surveyed by The BTI Consulting Group; and one of the top IP firms selected by the Fortune 100, according to IP Law & Business. For more information, visit

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