Doing business in Jerusalem: a local comment

Michael Factor: "The climate is great"

Patent attorney Michael Factor chose Jerusalem as his workplace. As such, his reasons for doing so and his personal experiences may help readers decide if the business environment in the City is right for them.  Michael writes:

“I am a partner in JMB, Factor & Co, the largest intellectual property firm with headquarters in Jerusalem. Many people wonder we are situated in the capital and not in Tel Aviv or Herzliya, both of which are larger business centers.

The main reason is climatic! Whenever I visit the coastal plain in the summer, due to the humidity I am sweaty and uncomfortable from the walk from the car to the client. Naomi Shemer was spot on when she wrote “Clean air, clear as wine with the scent of pines” in the opening line of Jerusalem of Gold.

The Patent Office is in Jerusalem. Intellectual property disputes are usually heard by the District Court as the court of first instance, and are appealed to the Supreme Court — which is also in Jerusalem. Consequently, the City is a good base. It is the center of government, and proximity of our office may have been a factor in our being chosen to represent one of the government ministries in an opposition proceedings recently.

Giant pharmaceutical company Teva is the third most prolific local filer, and Yissum, the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University is the fifth. Yissum was also the most prolific filer of international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. We wrote patent applications for both of them last year. Another client, who was the most prolific Israeli inventor last year, is also a Jerusalem resident.

There are a large number of Hi-Tech companies in Jerusalem, many of them doing research in the Life Sciences.

To a large extent, we work over the Internet and one does not need to meet clients too frequently. Nevertheless, occasionally it can’t be helped. Road 6 and the new road that bypasses the entrance into Jerusalem and connects Road 1 directly to the Har Hozvim Industrial Park (where our office is) makes Jerusalem very accessible by car. It also makes things easy for most clients in the Galilee in the North of the country and in the Negev in the South, who face no more than a 2 hour drive to reach the City. The light railway promises to make local travel much easier as well.

Salaries in Jerusalem are lower than in the Tel Aviv, as are rental costs. These make the cost of doing business lower for Jerusalem companies and provides a competitive edge.

We have a steady stream of foreign patent attorneys who visit our office on pilgrimage, and who stay on to visit the Wailing Wall and other holy places if they have time. It’s a good place to do business from”.

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