In memoriam: Dr. Michael Factor, blogmeister extraordinaire


The intellectual property community in Israel, and followers of the IP blogosphere world-wide, are stunned by the news that our colleague, Dr. Michael Factor, passed away earlier this week, at a tragically young age (around 50 years of old). Michael, a native of London, held a Ph.D. in physics, and aided by advanced legal studies, was an active IP practitioner in Israel. Encountering professional excellence is a privilege; suddenly being deprived of it is an immeasurable loss.

For many of us, Michael was also IP blogger extraordinaire, who took upon himself the mission of illuminating to English-language readers the Israeli world of IP, otherwise impenetrable to those who do not read Hebrew (which are most people in the world). His platform was THE IP FA©TOR and (seemingly daily) Michael would publish an item on some new development. [Readers can enjoy the THE IP FA©TOR icon at the top right, which conveys a sense of Michael’s impishness.]

Not only was THE IP FA©TOR the window into the world of the legal environment underpinning Israel as “Startup Nation”, but the blog was an invaluable service to local Israeli practitioners. It was that rare blog that centered on the IP world of a small country and made it accessible to all. No surprise that THE IP FA©TOR acquired an avid readership around the world. The only question that was never answered was where Michael found the time and energy to do it all.

But Michael did not merely “write” about IP, he challenged readers to be engaged about whatever topic was under discussion. “Engaged”, but on Michael’s terms and in Michael’s distinct blogging manner. Which meant that Michael told readers exactly what he thought, in a language and style, often laced with English humor, that left no doubt where he stood. Michael’s readers could be exhilarated or exasperated by his words, but, but they never came away (how could they?) indifferent.

Michael carried this approach on to the personal level. There are those whose written persona bears no resemblance to with whom you are speaking. That was not Michael. Even without an introduction, a few minutes of conversation with him (more listening than speaking?) told you that this could only be THE IP FA©TOR. I have on good account that Michael was a formidable Scrabble player, holding his own with wordsmiths far more adept than this Kat. Words were his forte.

Michael was an avid follower of The IPKat. Times were too numerous to recount where a post would just be published on IPKat, with the cyberspace ink barely dry, and Michael had already posted a Comment. Same language, same style, same energy, same humor—Michael was Michael. And, heaven forbid, if he had already published on THE IP FA©TOR on the same subject, he would let the IPKat readers know. Blogging was not for the desultory (within Michael’s meaning of the term).

This Kat’s relationship with Michael was in that elusive category between acquaintance and friend (language lets us down when we most seek linguistic precision). While our relationship was driven by our common professional interests (we had nearly 300 mutual connections on LinkedIn), we often veered into non-professional and even personal directions.

Did I know Michael well? Probably not. Did I share my thoughts and feelings with Michael? Most assuredly, yes. Am I richer, appreciably so, for having been part of his world; was the IP world enriched from his contributions? Absolutely.

Michael was blessed with a big heart and an actively productive mind. He will be missed.

In memoriam: Dr. Michael Factor, blogmeister extraordinaire In  memoriam: Dr. Michael Factor, blogmeister extraordinaire Reviewed by Neil Wilkof on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. What a shock!. Fifty is much too young. We will miss his humor - I always remember his "PC-Tea" bags :-)

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  2. I was in school with Michael. I am in shock. He was a genuine, principled person with a great sense of humour.

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  3. I completed my training under his tutelage. He was a very gifted and special person that shall be sorely missed.

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  4. I only had the pleasure of meeting him once, in London, but Neil's words fit exactly with the impression he made on me. What a sad loss.

    ReplyDelete

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