Forthcoming General Meeting of the Association of Patent Attorneys In Israel

rigged-elections (1)   election  הזמנה לאסיפה כללית 2013

The Association of Patent Attorneys in Israel (APAI) is a voluntary body whose membership is open to patent attorneys  who are licensed to practice in Israel but who are not examiners in the Israel Patent Office.

Ms Michal Hackmey, the Chairperson has just announced a General Meeting to be held on Wednesday 3 July 2013 at 16:00 in American Zionist House.

Any member may submit himself / herself as a candidate to serve on the Committee of the organization, but have to submit their name in writing to Ms Hackmey before the general meeting, preferably by the 2nd July 2013.

Regardless of the turnout, elections will take place.


Last time there was a general meeting, patent attorneys working for three large firms submitted votes by proxy – this despite the fact that the list of candidates wasn’t made available in advance. What this meant was that Luzzatto et Luzzatto, Reinhold Cohen & Partners, and, if I remember correctly, Paulina Ben-Ami’s office, had block votes that decided the make up of the current committee – which includes three representatives of firms having proxy vote blocks. The committee includes a representative of sole practitioners and one of patent attorneys in industry but these too were essentially appointed by a caucus of  senior partners of three firms. I doubt if the employees who voted by proxy were even aware that they were voting. Certainly they could not make an informed decision as they could not know who was standing.

I noted the irregularity at the time, and the keeper of the constitution acknowedged that there is no support for this voting style. Neverless, it was hallowed practice of the organization who had apparently been doing it for years.

Arguably large firms are quite capable of representing themselves before the Patent Office and other agencies, so the  Association of Patent Attorneys in Israel is more important for smaller firms and sole practitioners. That as may be, it is difficult to criticize these shenanigans as undemocratic since the political parties that run the country use lists that are manipulated by similar tricks. Nevertheless, there doesn’t seem much point in attending the General Meeting.   Holding the election in July is a good way of making sure that the turnout is sufficiently low that there are no upsets. The esteemed chairperson seems to have a life sinecure and despite the lack of activity since the last General Meeting, we doubt that any criticisms of the outgoing committee will be heard.

The IP landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. It is therefore useful that the Israel patent office, the universities, the LES, several patent firms and various initiatives such as the IPR hold seminars and lectures. Recently a group of sole practitioners and smaller firms have held a couple of round table lectures and it is expected that these initiatives will continue to fill the vacuum created by the ineffectual official professional organization.

Comments from readers are, as always, welcome.

Categories: Israel, Israel Related, Uncategorized

10 replies

  1. Why do you consistently misspell Reinhold Cohn?

    • Maybe the family mis-spells it? Luzzatto is a difficult one as well. I’ve seen it with both one and two zs and both one and two ts.

      When I was in college, everyone called me Faktor as there was a Professor Faktor (Polish Jew) in the field who spelled in that way. his daughter was doing a post doc.

      I brother of a friend of mine called Fox typed Faktor into the SIMS machine, so I typed his name in as Fuchs.

      We have a lot of Freimans, and Friedmans and Freimans. Separated patent attorneys with the same name. Children who practice under hebracized name while their parents remained the original name. One day I will write a Biblical family tree, explaining the connections.

  2. Please refer to section 21 of חוק העמותות which governs the organization. The section states:
    21. באסיפה כללית יהיה לכל חבר קול אחד וההצבעה תהיה אישית, והכל אם אין בתקנון הוראה אחרת לענינים אלה.

    It seems that proxy voting is prohibited unless the by-laws state otherwise. I’m not aware of any such provision in the by-laws.

    • Ziv,

      There is NOTHING in the constitution and regulations to allow a proxy-vote. I raised that issue at the last general meeting.

      Adv Freimann who apparently drafted the constitution admitted as much, but said that was how it was always done.

      In other words, the organization has always had rigged elections!

      Good luck if you decide to run.

  3. Have you considered filing a complaint with the רשם העמותות?

    • Richard,

      I simply let off steam on the blog, and try to bring irregularities to the attention of the profession.
      We could probably complain and get the amuta disbanded, but so what? like, why bother?

      If you attend, you will no doubt hear from Michal about how the profession doesn’t support the organization enough, and I would not be surprised if there isn’t an appeal from the committee to get involved. I just don’t think they actually want anyone to get involved. There appears to be general satisfaction among power players for things to stay the way they are.

      If you feel strongly, you can try attending, try to get voted in and try to change things. Good luck!

  4. P.S. How many people would have to attend the meeting in order to ensure passage of a motion stating that no one not physically present at the meeting will be permitted to vote on any issue raised therein?

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