Blog: Albert Abbou

Albert Abbou is this week's guest blogger. A young intellectual property attorney and native Michigander Albert will be writing about how his personal experiences led him into the law, his Chaldean roots, and why he chooses to make Ann Arbor his home.

Albert Abbou - Post 5

Despite the cryptic nature of patents and the various nuances associated with the law, I found the study of patent law absolutely intriguing. Upon completing my first course in patent law, I decided to become a patent attorney. The only decision that I had left to make was where I wanted to practice. It’s strange, because I always presumed that I would leave Michigan for a warmer climate the first chance I had.  Well, having received several job offers from out-of-state law firms, I finally had an opportunity to take off. Ultimately though, I concluded that I wanted to remain in Michigan for several reasons.

First, having decided to pursue a career in patent law, Michigan seemed like a logical choice. At the time, Michigan was experiencing an increasing trend in the number of patents being issued to in-state companies. This trend, of course, was primarily compelled by the automotive industry, as companies such as General Motors and Ford have consistently been among the top ranked companies in obtaining automotive-related patents. Accordingly, I believed it made sense to practice in an area such as Michigan where patents relating to a technology I was interested in are heavily obtained.

Despite the current state of our economy, I still believe that Michigan was the right choice, and I hope to be able contribute my services as a patent attorney to help get our state heading in the right direction again. Although the automotive industry is struggling mightily right now, it is worth noting that Michigan is one of the highest ranked states in research and development with respect to the technological arts. 

While this factor alone may not be determinative of success, I do believe that innovation can help lead our state out of the current recession.  As stated by Eugene R. Quinn, a well known patent attorney, "[p]atents need to issue to independent inventors, start-ups and small businesses so that they can attract investors and raise capital necessary to expand. It is the creation of small businesses and the expansion of existing small businesses that will lead to jobs and jobs are what will get us out of this recession."

In addition to practicing in a relevant area, I love living in Ann Arbor.  Along with providing a socially pleasant college-based atmosphere, the city offers a large and diverse group of young professionals, which I believe is also a positive indication for our future economy.  Secondly, Southeast Michigan is home to the largest Chaldean-American community in the United States. Being a Chaldean-American, this fact played a critical role in my decision to remain in Michigan, especially since a very small minority of Chaldeans leave Michigan upon settling here. This is not very surprising, as most Chaldeans have remained loyal to Michigan because the Michigan auto industry helped establish such a strong foundation of Chaldean-Americans in the first place. For many Chaldeans, Michigan personifies the “land of opportunity,” as the state has helped Arab-Americans grow from simple laborers working in factories to very successful businessmen and professionals. 

In sum, I’m here because I truly enjoy working and living in a beautiful and vibrant city. And despite the struggling Michigan economy, I strongly believe that our state offers tremendous potential for success. Finally, like the majority of Chaldean-American friends that I grew up with, I am simply too attached to our deeply rooted Chaldean community.