Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Good Wine, Good Meat... Good God Let's Eat

I went to the Annual Meeting/Dinner of IPLAC (Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago) last night. It was kind of nice for a near-lawyer like me. The dining hall was filled with some of the richest and most powerful intellectual property lawers1 in Chicago, including several named partners of huge law firms (like 500 lawyers each). Unfortunately, I am a terrible mingler. Until I actually know a few people, I have a lot of trouble just talking to people, especially ones I have never met before. The weird thing is once I know people even just a little bit, I become very, very extroverted, so I kind of have a weird social personality. So because of my shyness, I pretty much stuck to the fringes of the room and looked out the windows at the view of a gorgeous summer day along Grant Park and the Lakeshore, with the Chicago Yacht Club in front of me, the Art Institute almost directly below me, and the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Soldier Field off in the distance to the right.

Dinner was a little better because most of the guys at my table (and they were all men) talked about either A) Football, generally the Bears and how they can't pick a good first round player or 2) The Cubs, especially the blown World Series opportunity from last season2... both of which I knew more about than high-powered lawyering. That and the food was wonderful, and free for members of the group (which I am), so the price was right.

IPLAC also gave out an award for the "Inventor of the Year," and it went to some Biochemists from Abbott Labs who invented a protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS treatment that basically eliminated the HIV virus' resistance in 99% of patients so that they could take it indefinitely without the virus being able to develop into AIDS. It was an interesting night, and I had a good time. Who knew patent lawyers could throw a good party?

1 Er, as powerful as patent and trademark lawyers can be
2 It wouldn't be Chicago without discussing a disappointing performance, particularly if it happened last season. The official motto of Chicago is "Wait 'til next year!"


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