Dr. Michael Factor: a further remembrance

The co-founder and longtime blogmeister of IPKat, Jeremy Phillips, has provided his remembrance of Dr. Michael Factor, who passed away earlier this week.

Dealing with Michael Factor was one of the most exciting aspects of my time in IP. Truly a personality who was larger than life, his vast and shambling frame concealed a sharp, anarchic wit, a keen analytical mind, a phenomenal memory and a magnanimous, hospitable heart.

Many years before Michael set up his blog, he started sending me drafts of IP case notes and articles he had written, in search of an honest opinion as to whether he should submit them for publication. They were hilariously funny, packed with lethal jibes at incompetent judges, bungling lawyers and hapless clients, scurrilous puns and even scholastic annotations and comments on his own text.

Many of these pieces, shorn of their libellous content and generally sobered up, later appeared as respectable contributions to highly regarded journals. One of my worst nightmares as editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) was the prospect of sometimes having to deal with referees who did not share Michael's surreal and often Pythonesque approach to intellectual property issues.

Michael's truly unique contribution to IP discussion is an unusual one that may not be known to IPKat readers. A religious man with an insatiable curiosity, he both organised and chaired an international conference in Jerusalem on IP issues under Jewish, Christian and Islamic law, securing the participation of leading speakers representing each of these three religions. Practitioners, judges, academics and clergy were there in force, and many new friendships were forged.

Dining with Michael was always a treat -- and not because he always offered to pay. There was no topic of conversation to which he could not add a touch of spice, and his efforts at translating menus for visitors to Israel were quite uproarious. It was impossible to keep a straight face when he summoned the head waiter at a rather dignified restaurant and demanded to know how they served cows' tonsils.

Michael will be very much missed, by friends and adversaries alike -- and certainly by me. May his parents, his brother Aaron, his wife Miri and his children be comforted by their many memories of this remarkable man.

Dr. Michael Factor: a further remembrance Dr.  Michael Factor: a further remembrance Reviewed by Neil Wilkof on Thursday, April 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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