November 11, 2019

Michael Brennan, Harness IP Leader and Executive Committee Member, Passes Away At 65

In Memoriam Michael P Brennan | Intellectual Property Law Firm | Harness IP

Harness IP Principal and longstanding Executive Committee member Michael Patrick Brennan passed away on November 6, 2019. He was 65 years old.

Brennan spent the bulk of his remarkable career with Harness IP. He joined the firm in the fall of 1984 after working in-house with The Procter & Gamble Company. He served as a member of Harness IP’s litigation team for twelve years before shifting his practice to strategic counseling and risk management for some of the firm’s largest clients. Through his passion for solving complex legal problems and an expert ability to anticipate the needs of his clients, Brennan built a reputation as one of the best IP lawyers in Michigan. He received numerous accolades and honors during his career, including distinctions from Best Lawyers, Michigan Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, Managing Intellectual Property, DBusiness, and Martindale Hubbell. He held degrees in biology and chemistry, both cum laude, from Aquinas College, and earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Detroit.

Brennan became a Principal with the firm in 1987 and, two years later, a member of the firm’s Administrative Committee. He served on the Administrative Committee and then on its successor, the Executive Committee, for a total of 35 years. There were very few important decisions that he was not part of during that time.

Brennan’s guidance also played a key role in the firm’s growth from a single office in metro Detroit, which the firm maintained since its founding in 1921, to currently also having offices in Metropolitan Dallas, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The number of attorneys has risen from approximately 30 then to more than 100 today.

“As we approach the 100 year anniversary of the firm, it is safe to say that few people have had as profound an impact on the firm as Mike,” said Chris Brock, Principal with Harness IP and close friend of Brennan. “His devotion to family, the Firm and his colleagues will be remembered always and sorely missed.”

Aside from his expertise as an attorney, Brennan will always be remembered for his kindness and sharp sense of humor. He was a gifted storyteller who delighted in entertaining the people around him.

Brennan is survived by his wife, Janet; two daughters, Katie and Mary; and granddaughter, Genevieve. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked for donations to be made to St. Frances Cabrini Clinic in Detroit (

About Harness IP

Presently ranked sixth among the nation’s top patent firms as reported by Law360, Harness IP safeguards critical IP assets on a global scale for Fortune 500 companies, private and public businesses, universities, inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs. Harness IP has offices in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Detroit, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. Visit and follow @harnessdickey for more information.