Dimitri Dovas building an LED controller at NextFab

Intellectual property lawyers including patent attorneys like myself often deal with quickly developing technologies. While lawyers are generally required to participate in continuing legal education (“CLE”) classes to maintain their legal license, there are no requirements for “continuing technical education” for intellectual property attorneys, even though such attorneys often require a scientific or an engineering background. Staying on top of technological trends is important for lawyers who do the kind of work I do, even though there are no formal requirements to maintain our credentials.

On August 28th I was at NextFab, a great Philadelphia makerspace, for a six hour IoT (“Internet of Things”) workshop. IoT is the buzz word describing technologies involved in network-controlled devices and systems. In the class we built and initialized a WiFi™-enabled Arduino™-based LED lighting device. We studied the JavaScript™ programming language and used the node.js™ runtime environment to implement a web interface and allow us to control the LEDs on our device via the Internet. Matt Garfield, NextFab electronics manager, provided instruction on building and provisioning the device hardware. Jon Wexler, Academic Director at NY Code + Design Academy, provided instruction on coding and setting up the server device controls.

Technical education workshops like this one are important for me and other technology-focused lawyers (patent lawyers especially) who need to relate to their clients and to the science that their clients use. Workshops are also great for me to keep close ties with the tech community and to make my legal services accessible to those who require them. The growth of Philadelphia’s tech scene and the prevalence of institutions like NextFab have made my continued professional development convenient and rewarding.

-Dimitri P. Dovas, Esq.