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    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    T 734-761-3780
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    6th Floor at Ford Field
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competitive drive

Susan M. Kornfield

Member,Ann Arbor

T 734-930-2488F 734-930-2494734-930-2488

  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington), J.D., with honors
  • University of Michigan, B.A.
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Ct.
  • U.S. Ct. of Appeals, 2d Cir.
  • U.S. Ct. of Appeals, 7th Cir.
  • U.S. Ct. of Appeals, 6th Cir.
  • U.S. District Ct., N.D. Ill.
  • U.S. District Ct., E.D. Mich.
  • U.S. District Ct., W.D. Mich.

Ms. Kornfield focuses her practice on high-profile, sophisticated transactions and litigation in the patent, trademark, copyright, industrial design rights, trade secret, unfair competition, and technology-related spheres. Her clients include organizations in the financial services, health care/medical, automotive, sports and entertainment, higher education, and technology industries, as well as cultural institutions and nonprofit foundations.

She has been selected as an expert witness, mediator, and arbitrator in intellectual property disputes. She serves on an Advisory Committee to Stanford University on matters involving libraries and academic information resources, and lectures at universities, legal conferences, and business workshops on IP issues. Ms. Kornfield has authored several articles about intellectual property law.

Ms. Kornfield is a member of numerous national, state, and local bar associations and committees relating to computer law, intellectual property law, and entertainment law.

Ms. Kornfield is Co-Chair of Bodman’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. She served for many years as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee.

She is the recipient of two of the State Bar of Michigan’s most prestigious awards, the 2014 John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award for significant pro bono contributions and the 2017 Intellectual Property Section Excellence in IP Award for leadership and achievement in the field of IP Law.  

Honors, Awards, and Recognition
  • Chambers USA 2024, Intellectual Property
  • Managing Intellectual Property 2023 “Trademark Star” and “Copyright Star”
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2022 “Go-To Lawyer,” Intellectual Property
  • Crain’s Detroit Business “Notable Women in Law” 2021
  • State Bar of Michigan Intellectual Property Section “Excellence in Intellectual Property” Award, 2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2008-2024, Copyright, Litigation-Intellectual Property, Litigation-Patent, Technology Law, Trademark Law
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2006-2023, Intellectual Property
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2020, Top 100 Attorneys
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2017, Top 25 Women Business Attorneys
  • Michigan Super Lawyers 2017, 2019 and 2021, Top 50 Women Attorneys
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2021 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Trademark
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Copyright
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Trademark
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Copyright
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation-Patent
  • The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Litigation – Intellectual Property
  • The Best Lawyers in America®2013 Ann Arbor “Lawyer of the Year,” Copyright
  • DBusiness Magazine “Top Lawyers” 2009, 2011-2024, Copyright Law, Intellectual Property and Patent Law
  • Managing Intellectual Property “Top 250 Women in IP,” 2013, 2016
  • State Bar of Michigan, John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, 2014
  • Michigan Lawyers Weekly “Women in the Law,” 2010
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence; Endorsed for High Ethical Standing
Civic, Cultural and Community Activities
  • University of Michigan College of Engineering, Center for Entrepreneurship, Emeritus Advisory Board Member
  • Stanford University, Stanford Libraries Advisory Council, Member
Professional Affiliations
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Animal Law, Information Technology Law, and Intellectual Property Law Sections
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • Author, “Tom Petty Should Be Ashamed of Himself: Lessons from Those Who Learned the Hard Way,” Res Ipsa Loquitor, the Washtenaw County Bar Association Newsletter, September/October 2015, vol. 45, no. 5, p. 10.
Speaking Engagements
  • “Interpretation of of NFT & Digital Rights,” panelist, Licensing International NFT and Digital Collectibles Summit, April 27, 2021
  • “The Illuminated Mural and ‘Welcome to the D’: Michigan Reflects the National Battles Over Copyright and Trademark Claims,” presenter, Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, March 8, 2016
  • “When Can Anonymous Internet Posters Be Identified and Held Liable?,” panelist, Washtenaw County Bar Association, February 26, 2016
  • “Handling the Most Common Intellectual Property Issues,” presenter, First Annual Entrepreneurial Law Institute, Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), May 28, 2015
  • “What You Missed in the Rest of the IP World When You Were Stressing Out over AIA,” presenter, Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, April 16, 2013
  • “Basic Intellectual Property,” presenter, Business Boot Camp II, State Bar of Michigan, November 8, 2011
Academic Appointments
  • University of Michigan Law School, Adjunct Professor, Intellectual Property
  • University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Former Adjunct Professor, Law of Advertising
Pro Bono
  • State Bar of Michigan 2023 A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • Established a walk-in clinic at Detroit’s Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Saints Peter & Paul Warming Center
  • Assisted with Street Outreach Court Detroit, a 36th Judicial District Court program that assists homeless people


Representative Matters
  • Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc., 99 F.3d 1381 (6th Cir. 1996).

    Lead counsel in a copyright infringement action where publishers of copyrighted works brought sued a commercial copying service that prepared and sold unauthorized anthologies (“coursepacks”) to university students without paying royalties or permission fees.

  • Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust, 755 F.3d 87 (2d Cir. 2014).

    Copyright infringement action under the fair use doctrine related to the HathiTrust Digital Library (HDL), a digital preservation repository that provides long-term preservation and access services for public domain and in copyright content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives.  HathiTrust is a partnership of many major academic research libraries, including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Ivy League universities, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University.  Ms. Kornfield represented a group of university trustees and boards of regents as amici curiae in this matter: The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, the Board ofTrustees of Michigan State University, the Regents of the University Minnesota, the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, The Pennsylvania State University, and the Trustees of Purdue University.

  • Pollick v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 817 F. Supp. 2d 1005 (E.D. Mich. 2011).

    Represented a multi-national consumer products manufacturing company in a copyright infringement action alleging that the company had infringed on the plaintiff’s idea and copyright registration for his “diaper jeans,” baby diapers designed to resemble jeans, when it began manufacturing and marketing its own brand of “jeans diapers,” which were also baby diapers designed to resemble jeans.


Practices & Industries Education
  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law (Bloomington), J.D., with honors
  • University of Michigan, B.A.
  • Illinois
  • Michigan