Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus, Inc.  248.260.8466 or

Ann Arbor, Mich. —December 5, 2017Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., is pleased to announce that Li Gao, Ph.D., has returned to the firm’s Ann Arbor office as an associate attorney after serving as a summer associate with the firm in 2015 and 2016. She is the fourth member of Brinks’ Ann Arbor office to hold a Ph.D.

Prior to joining Brinks, Gao worked at AFID Therapeutics Inc. in Lansing, Mich., where she was director of research and development, responsible for the development and commercialization of new pharmaceuticals. She began her career at AFID Therapeutics in 2004 as a research scientist and also served as discovery chemistry group leader. Gao has published articles in a variety of scholarly journals, including the Journal of Organic Chemistry. She is admitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and has three patents in the chemical field.

“For the past two summers, Li has been instrumental in researching various patent issues and handling the prosecution of patent applications before the US Patent and Trademark Office, and we are pleased to have her on board as an associate attorney,” said Steven L. Oberholtzer, managing shareholder of Brinks’ Ann Arbor office. “That legal experience combined with her successful career and technical knowledge in chemistry will be an enormous asset to Brinks and our clients.”

Gao holds a Ph.D. in chemistry with a 4.0 GPA from Michigan State University, where she served as a research and teaching assistant, and a Master of Science degree and Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, both from Nankai University, China. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in May 2017, and is the recipient of the King Scholarship and jurisprudence awards in research, writing and analysis, advocacy, torts, business enterprise and patent litigation, among others.

Celebrating its centennial year in 2017, Brinks Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the US, and helps clients around the world to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights.  Our more than 140 lawyers, patent agents and scientific advisors assist clients in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret, and copyright law.  Brinks attorneys provide informed counsel with respect to innovations in a range of complex and valuable technologies, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, bioengineering, industrial manufacturing, electronics and software, and medical devices.  More information is at