Law firm adds four principals to Troy office

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News


The global intellectual property law firm of Harness Dickey recently voted four principals into its Troy office: Michael Nye, Jason Heist, Damian Aquino, and Michael Taylor, the latter two moving from non-equity to full equity principals.

Like many Harness Dickey attorneys, the quartet brings a solid background in engineering or science.

A graduate of Churchill High School in Livonia, Nye earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and worked in the DEC Alpha microprocessor development group at Compaq Computer and as an intern in the air management group at Borg Warner Automotive. After graduating, he worked as a digital systems consultant for Agilent Technologies, before earning his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.

A Dearborn native who now lives in Oakland Township, Nye joined Harness Dickey in 2004 and became an attorney in 2006. His practice focuses on patents and trade secrets in electrical- and computer-related technologies. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications, reviews competitive landscapes for potential infringers and opportunities for future patent protection, performs due diligence reviews of intellectual property portfolios, and advises on freedom to operate for new product offerings and features. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies to expand their portfolios, and has written and seen through to issuance the first patent a company has received.

Taylor, a native of Grand Rapids and graduate of City High School in Grand Rapids, earned his undergrad degree from Hope College; and while pursuing a double major in chemistry and political science, worked with political science professor Dr. Jack Holmes in researching, writing, and editing a new work in United States and international politics; and with Professor of Biology Dr. Virginia McDonough in her genetic research.

Taylor earned his law degree from MSU Law, clerked at Harness Dickey since 1999, and joined the firm in 2001 as an attorney. With a background encompassing many aspects of chemical, biochemical, and mechanical arts, his practice includes preparing and prosecuting patents and trademarks, freedom to operate as well as due diligence investigations, and litigating intellectual property matters. He also assists clients, of all sizes including individuals and new start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, in preparing and prosecuting matters in the United States as well as internationally in many fields, including chemical and mechanical matters.

Aquino is a graduate of Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Wayne State University, before working as an electrical engineer in the defense industry, in vehicle electronics, software, and diagnostics.

The Rochester Hills resident earned his law degree from Wayne State University Law School while working as a clerk and a patent agent at Harness Dickey, before joining the firm in 2001. His practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the electrical, software, and mechanical arts. He also assists in the preparation of legal opinions, including the areas of patent infringement and freedom to practice.

Heist is a graduate of Lake Orion High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Michigan State University before working in the automotive field as a chemist for Sika Corporation where he focused primarily on the research and development of thermoplastic and rubber-based expandable sealants for use as acoustic baffles in automobiles.

He joined Harness Dickey in 2001, and while earning his law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, worked as a clerk and patent agent. He joined the firm as an associate in 2006.

Heist’s current practice focuses on preparing and prosecuting patent applications in various technical arts including machine elements, chemical arts, and various electro-mechanical and electro-optical systems. Patent applications include automotive seals; scroll compressors; liquid crystal, electrophoretic, and OLED displays; semiconductors; piezoelectric actuators and piezoelectric compositions; SAW devices; emission control technologies; medical devices; ink jet printing methods and apparatuses; ink compositions; fuel cells; automotive systems including transmissions, clutches, and suspension systems; and other fields.

“Damian Aquino, Michael Taylor, Michael Nye and Jason Heist are all outstanding patent attorneys who have demonstrated very high technical and legal skills throughout their careers at Harness Dickey,” says Harness Dickey Principal Monte Falcoff.  “We’re proud to welcome them as principals of the firm and wish them continued success.”

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