Patent Attorney Wins Historic National Women’s Air Race Classic

July 1, 2009

CHICAGO, July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Kelly Burris, a patent attorney and a partner at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., and co-pilot Erin Recke of Atlanta, Georgia, are the first place winners in the 2009 Air Race Classic, an all-female aviation race that dates back to 1929 and the era of famed woman pilot Amelia Earhart. The race route, which started in Denver, Colorado and ended in Atlantic, Iowa, covered approximately 2,400 miles and was held from June 23-June 26, 2009. Winners were finally announced on June 28th due to the complexity of the scoring. Ms. Burris piloted her 1962 Beechcraft Debonair airplane, affectionately known as ‘The Deb.’

Ms. Burris and Ms. Recke flew on behalf of Angel Flight Central, part of the Air Charity Network, a non-profit organization that matches people in need with free flights and other travel resources, and will donate their $5,000 prize to the organization. Ms. Burris has been a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight Central Mid-Atlantic and Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic Central, members of the Air Charity Network, since 2004.

“I raised about $12,000 for Air Charity Network through last year’s Air Race Classic and my goal was to raise more than $25,000 this year. I believe we are very near that goal,” says Ms. Burris, who enlisted the assistance of the Angel Flight Central member organizations to promote the charity to communities along the route stops. “Every dollar I was able to raise will be donated directly to Angel Flight Central. No donated monies will be used to offset the expenses we incurred to compete in the race.”

In addition to the competition of the Air Race and the chance to experience the camaraderie of other women pilots, Ms. Burris views the race as an excellent opportunity to raise funds and awareness for the charity. Reflecting on the race, Ms. Burris offered the following comments, “Since a very young age, I have had a passion for aviation and flying and I have always been a serious competitor. The Air Race Classic has such a rich heritage, and with the depth of the field of competitors, this victory is very humbling and quite an honor.”

A pilot since 1984, Ms. Burris learned to fly at Western Michigan University while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Burris worked for more than 11 years as an engineer in the aviation industry. As a practicing patent attorney, she has handled hundreds of patent issues involving aviation. When she’s not flying, Ms. Burris focuses her legal practice on the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and foreign patent applications in the mechanical, material science and electrical arts and the management and administration of corporate intellectual property portfolios and policies and strategic competitive intelligence.

Ms. Burris, 44, holds a law degree from Saint Louis University, a Master of Science degree in material science and engineering from Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Western Michigan University. Ms. Burris is also an adjunct professor at Ave Maria Law School in Ann Arbor. She is a based in the Ann Arbor, MI office of Brinks.

About Women’s Air Racing

Women’s air racing started in 1929 with the First Women’s Air Derby. Twenty pilots raced from Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH, site of the National Air Races. Racing continued through the ’30′s and was renewed again after WWII when the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR), better known as the Powder Puff Derby, came into being. The AWTAR held its 30th final and commemorative flight in 1977. When the AWTAR was discontinued, the Air Race Classic, Ltd., (ARC) stepped in to continue the tradition of transcontinental speed competition for women pilots and staged its premier race. The Air Race Classic was reincorporated in 2002 into the Air Race Classic, Inc. This information is courtesy of www.airraceclassic.org.

About Air Charity Network

Air Charity Network (www.aircharitynetwork.org) is a national network of several independent member organizations arranging free flights of hope by transporting children and adults in need.

Founded in 1917, Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione is based in Chicago with five additional offices across the country serving the intellectual property needs of clients from around the world. The firm is one of the largest IP law firms in the country, with more than 170 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents specializing in intellectual property litigation and all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, intellectual asset management, and technology and licensing agreements. Brinks routinely handles assignments in fields as diverse as electrical, chemical, mechanical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nanotechnology, Internet and computer technology, as well as in trademarks and brand names for a wide variety of products and services. For more information, visit www.usebrinks.com.

    Sydney Iglitzen

SOURCE Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione

Source: newswire

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