Hal Novick With Crackers!

crackerhal novickSimon and Hal with cracker 2Simon Kay of Pioneer IP Consulting Ltd, a leading Israel Boutique IP Firm sponsored a seminar to Israel Businessmen on Changes to US Patent Law under the American Invents Act, and on US trademark law.  The seminar, held on December 24, 2012 in a conference room at Celltick, one of Simon’s clients, was presented by Harold Novick, a US patent attorney that I’ve known for some years.

Hal is a highly experienced practitioner with 40 years experience in private practice, and is also an erudite lecturer. I met him last week at Almog which is near Jericho and about 250 m below sea level which was a fitting place to meet Hal who was a submariner in an earlier life!

Hal Novick is a familiar feature at international IP conventions such as INTA and AIPPI, where with his beard and flat cap, he looks, well kind of Jewish in a profession where Jewish practitioners are hardly rare. There aren’t many countries where an IP seminar on Xmas Eve would be a complete sell-out with all chairs taken, but this is Israel, where Christmas is a regular working day, and is hardly noticed. Hal peppered his presentation with traditional Xmas crackers that he used as an example of a product that could be patented and maybe protected by trade dress.

Personally, I didn’t find anything distinguishable in the get-up of the crackers which were standard size and shape, and made of brown wrapping paper with red ribbon trim and decorated with Xmas trees. However, I would hesitate to argue with Hal on whether there was an element that could be registered as a trademark since Hal showed a real-life example of a clip that was protected by a utility patent (indicating that it’s design was functional), which, once the patent protection ran out, Hal managed to obtain a trademark registration for by collecting statements from people who swore that the product was indicative of the origin, and was thus registerable as a trademark. What is clear is that Hal thinks out of the box and is a persuasive advocate on behalf of his clients.

Formerly of the Nath Law Group and Hershkovitz and Associates, Hal has now teamed up with a pair of Korean born US licensed Patent Attorneys and launched his own firm Novick, Kim & Lee. This is not Hal’s only connection with Korea, since Hal is a past adjunct professor of IP law at Handong International Law School, an American style law school in Korea.

After the program, Simon Kay invited all participants at the seminar to a Kosher Italian restaurant nearby to celebrate Hal’s 70th birthday.

I’d like to thank Simon and Hal for a very enjoyable and informative evening.

Categories: Academia, Intellectual Property, patentable subject matter, Patents, US Patent Office, USPTO

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