At the General Meeting of the Association of Israel Patent Attorneys yesterday, a new committee was appointed.
The previous chairperson, Ms Michal Hackmey has stepped down after a long period of dedicated work on behalf of the profession, and Dr Meir Noam has been appointed chairperson in her stead.
Dr Ronny Ben Shufrut and Henry Einav also resigned, and have been replaced by Einav Zilber and Yehida Seruya. Dr Ed Langer (financial representative) and Avi Avital have been elected for a further term in office.
Dr Meir Noam was an Examiner who then went into private practice and then served as Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, before returning to private practice.
In a larger country, an Ex Commissioner becoming chairperson of the representative body might raise some eyebrows. Indeed, at a reception in Dr Noam’s honour at the end of his term of office, his temporary successor, Guy Rotkopf, noted the closeness between the patent office and the profession was a little odd, but saw no fault in this.
It is widely acknowledged that Dr Noam took on the job of Commissioner when the Israel Patent Office was at a low ebb out of Zionist motivation and to make a difference. It is also widely acknowledged that he left the patent office in a far healthier state, with 100 examiners, it being recognized as an International search Authority, it having moved into a new and prestigious location with courtrooms for hearings. Israel has also joined the Madrid protocol under his stewardship and the patent office has been getting ISO approval. Dr Noam has been out of office for a long enough cooling off period to be able to serve the private sector, and we expect he will devote his talents and energy to take the organization to new heights.
Occasionally when people stand for positions in organizations like this, there is a tendency to accuse them of promoting themselves for the honour and glory. Generally such accusations are misdirected. In this case, there is little doubt that the chairmanship of the organization is more headache and hassle than glory, and after serving as role of commissioner, adds little to Dr Noam’s resume. I hope and trust that he will breath new life into the organization, and will run a membership drive, keep track of members, and report transparently on the activities taken on behalf of the profession.
Einav Zilber is the IP Manager of Applied Materials and provides an important industrial perspective to the committee work.
When Michal Hackmey offered me a job at Luzzatto et Luzzatto, some 12 years ago, I trained for some six months under Yehuda Seruya, who made aliya from Gibraltar. It would be wrong to say that he taught me all he knew or all I know now, but he gave me a good start in the profession, and I am grateful to both him and Michal for that. (Now both of them are partners at RCIP). I am sure he will contribute to the work of the organization.
Personally, I’d like to see a closed, regulated online forum for members, where they can discuss proposed legislation and other issues of general interest, and also educational events ran by the organization for its members. It would be nice to see some action against non-qualified and non-licensed attorneys who are a public menace.
One thing that I think Dr Noam should consider lobbying against was his circular as commissioner to allow genes per se to be patented. After recent developments in other countries, this seems a little bit of an oddity, and I personally don’t see the novelty. Anyway, no doubt we will learn Dr Noam’s agenda in due course.