Wednesday, 18 September 2013

"Answerable to no-one but my wife": introducing Michael Factor

One of the new members of the SOLO IP team is Michael Factor, a patent attorney, seasoned blogger and enthusiastic advocate for solo practice. In this post, Michael gives a little background to his perspective on blogging, on practice in his jurisdiction and on the thrills and spills of working by oneself. He writes:
Solo practice means having to be
prepared to blow your own trumpet
"I am an Israeli patent attorney and have been blogging since November 2004 when I first went solo. My blog, IP Factor, is focused on IP from an Israel perspective, and I try to cover all Israel patent office decisions, IP related decisions of Israel courts, and IP developments relating to Israeli companies abroad. Israel is a small country where, "if you have the right connections, you don't need to rely on favoritism or nepotism", as the saying goes. The entire IP field in Israel is incestuous: everyone knows everyone else, and may have been in partnership with, formerly married to, trained by or otherwise related to each other.

What the average sole
practitioner is thinking 
about at any given moment?
Occasionally, my writing annoys some fellow practitioners -- often to the delight of other colleagues. A few years ago, I offended a patent office employee. I apologized and we moved forwards. One of the more brutal powerful practitioners in Israel was unhappy when I noted that he had an apparent conflict of interest and had done his client a disservice by the strategy he'd taken in a high profile IP suit. One firm had a malpractice suit that went to the Supreme Court and down again. A couple of patent attorneys have sued previous employers. These issues are of interest to the profession, but some of my colleagues might prefer that I did not cover certain events and can be fairly threatening and nasty about it.

As a sole practitioner I take responsibility for what I write, and it is my call. I have never felt to proud to apologize where I've got a fact wrong, but When in partnership, or worse, when an employee in a large firm, one doesn't have the same freedom to blog. And it's not just blogging. I decide whether or not to get up in the morning and go into work, or whether to work from home. Apart from my wife, I am answerable to no-one, and this is a major advantage in being a sole practitioner".
We look forward to introducing further new members of the blog team in the not-too-distant future.

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