January 17, 2020

Harness IP Names Bill Coughlin to CEO

Coughlin, a long-time attorney at the firm before leading intellectual property teams at Chrysler and Ford, returns to help guide Harness IP into the next decade and its 100th year in business

Harness IP, one of the country’s leading intellectual property law firms, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Coughlin to Chief Executive Officer. In this newly established role, Coughlin will work with the firm’s Executive Committee to oversee the firm’s short and long-term strategic business planning, client development and firmwide operations, helping guide the firm to continued success in the new decade and its second century of business.

Coughlin, who began his legal career at Harness IP and spent 17 years at the firm before leaving in 1995 to put his talent to use at automotive corporations, will help ensure Harness IP’s continued growth in a rapidly evolving legal services industry.

Coughlin led Chrysler’s and then DaimlerChrysler’s legal IP teams until 2000 and then joined Ford Motor Company as Assistant General Counsel and CEO of its intellectual property subsidiary, Ford Global Technologies LLC. His extensive experience advising corporations at Harness IP and as a client of the firm, coupled with his deep management and business operations expertise, make him a perfect fit for the role.

“The unique skillset Bill brings as CEO will enable us to enhance our clients’ ability to innovate and bring exciting products and services to the consumers and companies that need them,” said Gary Yacura, a member of Harness IP’s Executive Committee. “Bill knows the firm and our culture, understands first-hand the legal issues and complexities our clients face, and is skilled at managing diverse teams. Combined with his entrepreneurial mindset and technology savvy, we are confident that he is the right person to help lead the firm into our next century in business and beyond.”

“It’s exciting to return to the firm where I launched what has been a challenging, enjoyable and fulfilling career,” said Coughlin. “I look forward to helping Harness IP build on its long legacy as one of the preeminent intellectual property firms representing companies and institutions of all sizes worldwide.”

Harness IP will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021.

Coughlin is a longtime leader in the Detroit region’s business and technology communities, having begun his career as an electrical engineer developing batteries for electric vehicles before joining Harness IP. While at Ford, he was instrumental in unleashing the inventive talents of its engineers with unprecedented growth. Coughlin also helped bring Techstars to Detroit to build a vibrant startup community for mobility and beyond. In addition, he served as Adjunct Professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School for a decade, teaching trade secret law, e-commerce Law and IP Risk Management.

About Harness IP

Harness IP, founded in 1921, safeguards critical IP assets on a global scale for Fortune 500 companies, private and public businesses, universities, inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs. The firm ranked #6 overall in 2019 for filing the most patent applications on behalf of the “U.S. Patent Elite,” a list comprised of the 100 companies with the largest portfolios of granted U.S. patents as compiled and reported by IAM Media. The firm currently represents 44 of these companies. Harness IP serves clients in the United States and internationally from its offices in the metropolitan areas of Detroit, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. Visit www.harnessip.com and follow @harnessdickey on Twitter to learn more.

Media Contact

Nick Gaffney
Zumado Public Relations
(415) 732-7801