Well, it is over. Throughout this week, I thought for a few times to sit down and write a post, but it was just impossible – it was just so hectic!
But now, that it is over, and I am safely headed home, it is time for summaries.
I think the best way to describe this trip will be “mixed feelings”.
Business-wise, it was the best trip I have ever had. Had you read the email I have sent to my many friends and colleagues around the world about the changes I have been going through, you know that my firm has expended into Europe, with a UK branch. Our business model, which is based on reducing European overhead by keeping docketing and legal support in Israel rather than in Europe, has caught much attention. Some European firms, especially UK firms, charge top dollar (well, top Euro, or Pound) for every tiny action, and our business model is a way around that.
Add that to the immense inner-charm of my new English-man partner, some good pieces of cynical humor, and true willingness from our side to reciprocate work to associates we like, and several real good business prospects have been created.
Fun-wise, however, I was disappointed. INTA is always fun. It is a break of ordinary work and something different. I usually love it. This time, however, it seems that something was just not working. Put aside several really good receptions – Alston & Bird, Finnegan (YEAH!), Merchant & Gould (I hope I got the name right), to name a few – and my general impression was that the receptions were not as fun as always. The grand finale was a great disappointment. I always resent doing that in Museums, but doing it in the same location where the grand finale of the AIPPI which was held 2 years ago?! Come on… I remember Berlin’s amazing amusement park or the great location in Toronto. Those really left an impression!
Other things that got in the way of having fun were having a little one back home, which I really missed, but that’s not INTA’s fault.
One piece of advice to the new fellows who come to INTA and make the same mistake every year. Here’s a short story first – I was in an important private meeting at the hospitality area. Then, a guy from a lovely country in the Far East sits right next to us, and starts staring at us for 10 minutes. When we are finished with the meeting, he goes “my name is … , do you have any work in …?”. Right, dude, we have a whole stash of work in your country just waiting to be given NOW to rude people interrupting us in our private meetings…
Here’s my advice – it’s okay to ask about the firm and talk about work, but at the end of the day, it’s all personal. People work with people they like. Be nice, personable, friendly, and show real interest in the person talking to you, and not just in his stash of cases. This is your best chance of getting his cases, and maybe of making a friend.
Overall, INTA is THE event for intellectual property practitioners. Like it or not, it is not to be missed. See you in San Francisco.