Getting to Know Ted Sabety
This month on September 29th, we’re hosting a 1-on-1 with Ted Sabety, the founder of Sabety +associates, a law and consulting firm in the technology and electronic media fields. Ted is an experienced IP and Copyright attorney with expansive experience in guiding tech founders as they navigate the sometimes daunting world of Intellectual property and copyright. His practice ranges from advising technology companies regarding the development, exploitation, and protection of their intellectual property to advising electronic media industry clients on strategic issues regarding digital content distribution. Let’s get to know a little bit more about him!
NYTA: Can you describe a day in your life?
TS: My day starts with checking emails because my UK clients are 5 hours ahead. Then I check what is on our court and USPTO docket. I discuss project status and tasks with my associate, Melissa. After that I go through the follow-up for on-going projects, like patent drafting, turning documents in a negotiation, etc.. I can sneak in some exercise in the middle of the day, and towards the end of the afternoon, I get active with the west coast.
NYTA: What’s the best part about your job?
TS: Looking at what new technologies and applications are getting attention and investment, watching how the industry is evolving, working strategically to help build an idea into a viable venture.
NYTA: What’s one of your favorite failures (a lesson you learned the hard way but ended up being super valuable)?
TS: In 1992, I was doing recording studio production — long before law school — and had the idea of an online dating, well not a “website”, it didn’t exist yet, so it was a dial-up bulletin board, which were the rage. The pitch was that the music industry would not license music for digital distribution to compete with CDs, so you needed “customer-generated content” and dating interactivity was a great example of compelling customer-generated content. Having been in the business, I had top software engineers lined up, the whole bit. But money-raising was much harder back then compared to now. No one would invest in the idea. One V.C. told me it sounded like “pornography.” My mistake? I didn’t get legal advice. I never filed patents on what we were designing on the technology side. Spin forward 10 years and along comes Lavalife, match.com, etc. My second mistake was not to revive the project in 1999. Can you imagine if they had to buy me out ?
NYTA: What’s the book you always give out as a gift and why?
TS: Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb. The human mind plays tricks with itself, affecting our judgment, especially in the uncertain worlds of business strategy and investing. Understanding these psychological and mathematical realities is illuminating.
NYTA: What was the first concert you ever went to?
TS: Maybe it was Aida at the NY Metropolitan Opera. My parents were opera buffs. Verdi is fabulous music but memories of the stage spectacle are ingrained. Speaking of spectacle, if you mean rock, I think it was Peter Gabriel/Genesis. He did the whole costume shtick he was famous for in those days while Phil Collins drummed away. As a guitarist, I would have preferred it Jimi Hendrix or the Doors, but you couldn’t get tickets and your parents wouldn’t let you go anyway. Impossible.
The New York Tech Alliance would like to extend its thanks to Ted Sabety for answering questions for us and helping us get to know him a bit more!
If you would like to get to know more about Ted and what he does, RSVP for our event on September 29th here: https://www.nytech.org/ip_with_ted_sabety
More about Sabety + Associates
Sabety+associates, PLLC is a technology law firm that understands innovative technology and electronic media businesses and the creative people that drive their success. Our law practice focuses on businesses whose primary assets are advanced technology, software, creative works, and digital media. Whether patents, trademarks or copyrights, IT infrastructure or electronic content distribution, Sabety +associates has done deals, conducted litigation or procured IP registrations for clients around the world.
Clients value our inter-disciplinary and strategic approach. Ted knows technology. We’ve been there.