Michael J. Harris

Michael J. Harris


Chicago, IL

Main: 312.463.5000 Fax: 312.463.5001


Michael is an experienced litigator and partner in Banner Witcoff’s Chicago office. He has played a lead role in hundreds of complex matters for industry-leading clients, including high-stakes utility patent, design patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright, trade secret, and unfair competition lawsuits. He has tried cases before juries and judges in federal district courts and at the International Trade Commission, and has appeared before numerous federal appellate courts.  Michael also has an active practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Michael previously served as in-house IP counsel for a Fortune 150 company and he is currently serving as Virtual IP Counsel for a global, diversified industrial organization that includes more than 185 independent manufacturing and service businesses.  In those roles, Michael has provided business stakeholders with strategic guidance, oversight, and direction on intellectual property matters worldwide; he has managed a large and diverse caseload of intellectual property lawsuits around the world; he has prepared intellectual property licenses and agreements; he has assisted in due diligence reviews and acquisitions; and he has managed a global trademark portfolio consisting of thousands of marks.

Michael is a contributing author of the Patent Litigation Strategies Handbook, Third Edition, and its yearly cumulative supplements. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, teaching a course on Patent Office Litigation.

Throughout his career, Michael has consistently been recognized for his expertise and client service. He is listed in Managing Intellectual Property's 2018  and 2019 editions of IP Stars for his patent and trademark practice, and in the 2018 edition of Legal 500 for his success handling IPRs.

He also is recognized in the 2017 and 2019 editions of BTI Client Service All-Stars report for superior client service. Nominated by a major manufacturing company, Michael is one of about 300 lawyers nationwide to receive the honor in 2019. He also was named an “Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star” in the field of Intellectual Property Litigation every year from 2009 to 2017. The Rising Stars list represents the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.

Michael graduated, cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law. He served as the Internet Editor for The University of Illinois Journal of Law Technology & Policy. Prior to law school, Michael earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from Valparaiso University. He was an electrical engineer for the Illinois Commerce Commission, where he performed operational and financial analyses, policy development, and public safety and enforcement activities related to the electric utility industry.

  • B.S.E.E. 2000, Valparaiso University
  • J.D. 2003, University of Illinois

Bar Admissions

  • 2003, Illinois

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

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