As we enter Week 2 of the 2022 holiday season, I think we all deserve to end the year on a good note. As with all years, 2022 was not without its challenges, both professionally and personally, a fact that I am sure is true for at least most of this distinguished readership. For myself, the lowest point of the year came as I lay sprawled out on the street on a chilly fall morning, after being hit by a hit-and-run driver around the block from my house. (If you are in Brooklyn and see a silver Lexus with a black roof and tinted windows, give it a wide berth – and snap a picture of the license plate if you can.) Yes, things could have been much worse for me, but I was able to bounce back up, albeit with some badly cut-up knees and ribs that felt like Mike Tyson had mistaken me for his heavy bag. Despite that dark moment, I can’t feel anything other than optimism for 2023. Including on the work front, where the projects begun in 2022 are looking promising in terms of bearing fruit in 2023 and beyond.
In my book, gratitude is one of the most elevated of human expressions, so I am proud to go through three features of my life in 2022 that I am grateful for. And I encourage everyone to take at least a small slice of the well-earned downtime that the holiday season presents to think about the three things in the past year that you are grateful for as well. Last impressions are lasting impressions — and it is always helpful to end a year with a spirit of optimism for the year ahead. Not because we can or should expect that the coming year will be free of all challenges, but because the one thing we can control is how we react to the challenges and successes that are sure to arise. Doing so with a grateful spirit will surely stand us all in good stead. So make your list of three and I hope the below will help inspire that effort on your behalf. As you will see, I chose to focus on small things that enrich my life, even as I am of course grateful for the larger things that serve as my bedrock on a daily basis.
First, I discovered my newest passion this past year — and it all started with seeing an interesting patent case filed that I covered on these pages. After that column ran, some helpful readers made recommendations for a new rowing machine for my home gym, which ultimately led to my purchase of a NordicTrack rower. No, it was not a Concept2, but I felt like having the video lessons would be helpful. Since then, my day feels incomplete if I am not on my erg at least once a day for a spirited 20-40 minute session, depending on whether I am targeting a HIIT or steady state row. More importantly, my time on the machine inspired me to learn how to scull on the water, leading to my joining a local rowing club. Three to four outdoor sessions a week in the summer were pure bliss, especially after I got to the point where capsizing my boat was not too much of a worry. Strong bodies help build strong minds, and I hope that everyone reading this can find — or continue — a fitness regimen that they love in 2023.
Second, 2022 was a year filled with good podcasts, which helped me pass the time on the rowing machine and on the water. In the car, as well — and often when I am just walking around or doing errands. Lots of podcasts, I guess. From old standbys like the Tony Kornheiser or Bill Simmons podcasts, to new favorites like “Plain English” with the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson, there is always an interesting discussion to listen in on. In addition to the regular rotation, I also found myself using podcasts to do a deep dive into interesting personalities I have read about or heard over the course of the year. To that end, I must have listened to at least a dozen interviews with negotiation maestro Chris Voss over the course of the year. And even though he definitely replays some of the hits for each interviewer, I still found the exercise time well spent, with something new to take away from each discussion. In short, podcasts were a big part of my year, and I am grateful for the talented people that brought them to life.
Lastly, I remain very grateful for the opportunity to write this column and engage with this audience. For one, having a weekly opportunity to write allows me to keep track of areas of IP that I simply don’t encounter much in my day-to-day practice. At the same time, this column also gives me the opportunity to dig a little deeper into interesting IP developments because I can follow stories or cases over time to see how they unfold. Most importantly, having the chance to interview amazing IP personalities is always a thrill, while also being one of the most enriching aspects of getting to write for ATL. So to all my 2022 interviewees, thanks again for taking the time to share your insights with this audience. And to everyone at ATL and this readership, here is hoping that 2023 is filled with good health, good cheer, and the opportunity for each of us to do good in the world.
Please feel free to send comments or questions to me at [email protected] or via Twitter: @gkroub. Any topic suggestions or thoughts are most welcome.
Gaston Kroub lives in Brooklyn and is a founding partner of Kroub, Silbersher & Kolmykov PLLC, an intellectual property litigation boutique, and Markman Advisors LLC, a leading consultancy on patent issues for the investment community. Gaston’s practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and related counseling, with a strong focus on patent matters. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @gkroub.