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Michael Berchou

berchou_michael__2016-o9c4400-hse-roc-hr_8x10Michael Berchou

Partner, Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Years in current role:5

What do you enjoy most about practicing intellectual property law?

In my practice, no two days are the same. I have worked for major companies and solo inventors. I have handled litigation throughout the US ranging from 3D printing to Fibre Channel interfaces to ballistic fabrics to artificial turf and baseball caps. And I have handled patent applications from magnetic windings, computer storage routers, medical devices and predictive fault analysis to fireplace enclosures and amphibious shoes.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

We all quickly adapted to working from home and litigating cases remotely. I think my biggest challenge has been finding ways to collaborate with my HSE colleagues on a regular basis and to spend meaningful face-to-face time with our clients.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the legal industry in the next 3-5 years?

Finding ways to adapt our practice for new attorneys joining the firm. I think we will continue to be doing a great deal of work remotely over the next five years and we must continue to develop ways to train and develop our new associates, and provide them the same type of learning experiences and client interactions I was provided as I came up through the ranks.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

I am on the Board of Literacy Buffalo Niagara, a nonprofit that develops literacy skills by providing free tutoring in Erie and Niagara counties through training of diverse community volunteers. I also tutored students through Lawyers for Learning for five-plus years and learned about the challenges faced by children with parents who do not make an investment in their education. I recognize the tremendous importance of the programs these organizations provide. I am also a volunteer Board member for Road Less Traveled Productions. RLTP is a Buffalo nonprofit theater company which has produced about 80 plays during the last 15-plus years. RLTP is an important, award-winning fixture in the theater community in Buffalo, and I am proud to be associated with it.

What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?

Travel. I spent a good deal of time traveling for business and for pleasure before last March. My business travel has nearly ceased, and we have been forced to postpone a few long-awaited vacations.