4 Minutes with…Franklin S. Abrams, Ph.D., Partner, Springut Law

franklin-adamsTell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Springut Law PC is an intellectual property law boutique. We serve our clients by helping them protect and profit from their innovation by protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights. As a boutique, we provide personalized service to our clients, working closely with them to help them achieve their business goals.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

As a patent attorney, I plan on working with my clients to help them obtain strong and valid patent protection for their inventions and helping them to develop strategies to protect all of their intellectual property. As a scientist, I am working on learning as much as possible about new developments in synthetic biology which will be playing an increasingly important role in the bio-economy. The capacity to inexpensively read, write, and edit DNA along with our growing understanding of the structure/function relationships of proteins and other biological molecules has placed biology in a powerful position for really transformative growth in the coming years. I am very excited about being part of this growth and seeing how the field evolves.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?
In many areas, there still appears to be too much public resistance to scientific advances due to people not really embracing or understanding the science. It would be really important if we could achieve a state of affairs where the public at large no longer fear scientific developments and begin to appreciate them.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

It would be really great if we could have the political and societal wherewithal to move forward with the transformative bio-based projects that would completely change our world in wonderful ways. I would like to snap my fingers and generate the societal energy and interest to engage in this process in a proactive way.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?

The Advanced Bioeconomy industry is poised to change the world in positive ways. Having a good training in chemistry, biology, and intellectual property law, I hope that I can serve this community and be part of solving some of our greatest problems. It will be great to participate in creating a clean and healthy world of abundance.

Where are you from?
Port Jefferson, New York.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

I majored in chemistry and attended the State University of NY at Oneonta. The school was known to be strong in chemistry and I studied chemistry because it has broad applications and would provide me with an excellent scientific foundation for studying biological systems at a molecular level. This I found quite fascinating, and still do.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

I have found the writings and life stories of Plato, Richard Feynman, Oliver Sacks, Pasteur, Gurdjieff, and Carl Jung to have been significant for me at various points. Generally, I take inspiration from a wide variety of sources from East Asian philosophy, Western philosophy,science, psychology, history, and books on current affairs. Some family members and teachers helped by providing living examples and suggesting interesting books. The discipline of martial arts provides a daily methodology and philosophy that is helpful in all areas of life.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?

That eventually things will turn, the period of adversity will run its course. We have periods of highs and lows in life, whether we are looking for them or not. If we are not terribly unlucky and continue to work on things that matter to us, chances are good that we will have success and happiness return to us.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?

Martial arts, literature, philosophy of science, traveling, and hiking.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island.

This is a tough question for me. I would opt for books that are large and repay repeated study such as the Collected Dialogues of Plato, Darwin’s Origin of Species, or perhaps one of Jared Diamond’s books that I have not yet had the time for.

What books or articles (excluding The Digest) are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?

I have recently read Steven Johnson’s “Where Good Ideas Come From”, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s “Powers of Two” and Evan Osnos “Age of Ambition”. Currently I am reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch. I am planning to read Abundance,by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, which I understand will provide a broad perspective on our transformative technologies.

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday? 

San Francisco or Hong Kong

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