Get to Know: Michael L. Taylor


A Grand Rapids native, Michael Taylor is a principal and patent attorney with Harness Dickey in Troy.

Taylor went to undergraduate school at Hope College and studied chemistry and other sciences. He then earned his JD from Michigan State University College of Law.

Using his background in science and his legal education, Taylor pursued a career in patent law.

He has now been with Harness Dickey for more than 20 years working to assist individuals, businesses, and organizations to enhance people’s lives with exciting inventions.

His intellectual property practice includes the preparation and prosecution of patents, freedom to operate and due diligence investigations, and the ongoing protection of patents both in the United States and abroad.

He is also called upon to evaluate the IP aspects of potential business opportunities and development initiatives, where he analyzes the IP-related risk, viability, and potential reward of such endeavors. He is experienced in the many aspects of chemical, biochemical, and mechanical arts.

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Why did you become a lawyer? I have always enjoyed arguing, in a good way. I like to develop arguments and support them in a convincing and clear manner. I enjoy using those skills, especially to assist my clients.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Learn all you can now, but understand that the application is far different than the knowledge. The law is about the application, and understanding the application is more important. More immediately, law school may be harder than prior educational experiences, but it is, in many cases, simpler than practicing law as a lawyer.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer? I was working with a small business owner attempting to protect an invention aimed at making commercial kitchens and food preparation locations safer and cleaner. I was able to get the patent issued in a shorter time span, allowing the client to get the product to the market faster so the company could start making money. I enjoy working with small business owners because they are often excited and invested in the patenting process. It’s also a good feeling to see their business grow as a result of their innovative ideas and hard work. 

What do you do to relax? I enjoy spending time with my children, helping with their classwork or just hanging out. I also enjoy precision sports, golf, and outdoor activities like skiing and hiking.

What other career path might you have chosen? Medicine or medical research would have been my other top choices. I like the process of discovery and working with others to better our lives as a whole.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? So far so good, and the future looks bright.

Favorite local hangouts: The golf course and tennis courts.

Favorite music: EDM and Baroque classical.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Preparing for debate competitions in high school, especially researching and developing arguments, and then participating in the debates.

What do you wish someone would invent? I enjoy science fiction, and I think it obviously follows that I would love to use a transporter from Star Trek. Traveling is great, but journey time can be limiting. Instantaneous transportation is the perfect solution. 

If you could have dinner with three people, past or present, who would they be? Thomas Jefferson, Antonin Scalia, and Jesus or one of the disciples.

What’s the best advice you ever received? Write shorter sentences.

Favorite way to spend money: Toys and things for my kids or for my own hobbies and interests.

What is your motto? Do my best.
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