Rami, a Senior Legal Consultant in our Dubai office, is a Canadian registered Patent and Trade Mark Agent and licensed lawyer.
Not everyone can lay claim to a Rubik’s cube record, patents in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and satellite technology, and a string of like achievements. Rami’s problem solving skills seem limitless: he always manages to see the big picture. These days, he’s in his element working with inventors, having access to their inventions from the very beginning, drafting patent applications from scratch and managing patent portfolios for start-ups as well as major conglomerates. But that doesn’t prevent him continuing to work on his own inventions, currently in the fields of traffic control, healthcare and AI, or tinkering with electronics and building prototypes on the workbench he has installed in his home office.
Rami’s abilities didn’t take long to manifest themselves. At school, he was always top of his class, as well as being enthusiastically involved in a wide range of school activities including sport (track and table tennis), music (keyboard), and debating. While his friends were competing with their peers, he was competing with his legendary older brother, Sami, who was three years ahead of him. Rami loved the challenge – and his brother encouraged and supported him all the way.
On leaving school, he was awarded a full scholarship to Dalhousie, one of Canada’s leading universities, to study Mathematics and Physics. Four years later, he graduated with a Combined First Class Honours degree and went on to obtain a Masters in Applied Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering. Although Rami is obviously exceedingly gifted academically – his Masters thesis is regarded as an original AI building block and has been widely cited - he couldn’t wait to join the work force and exercise his skills in the real world. While still a student he had received offers from both government and the private sector and, on graduation, decided to join a government research institute in Natural Resources Canada and then transitioned to the R&D Department of the Canadian Ministry of Defence as a Research Scientist.
The work was exciting. Every project involved trying to solve an open problem i.e. a recognised problem for which no solution had yet been found, and Rami was developing particular expertise in Mathematical Modelling, Electrical Engineering, and Signal Processing relating to satellites. Then, when one of the projects he was working on spun off into something very innovative, he found himself communicating with the in-house Patent Attorney. This was his first encounter with Intellectual Property and he was fascinated. He imagined himself in the shoes of the Patent Attorney and could see endless possibilities.
Working for the government was very exciting, but because of the sensitive nature of Defence Department work, some aspects of the problems Rami worked on required secret clearance above his level. This meant he was solving problems without understanding how the solution would fit into the big picture. Seeing the in-house Patent Attorney at work, and with valuable guidance from his sister, Rana, who is a force of nature academically and professionally, he could see how different it would be working as an IP lawyer – how gratifying it would be to have the whole picture, to be working with clients at the forefront of innovation, solving problems, and always seeing the fruits of your work. So, he decided not to do a PhD, which would have been his next career step, but to do a Law degree instead. He saw becoming an IP lawyer and a patent specialist as a natural career progression, rather than a career shift.
Having obtained a full entrance scholarship to the University of Ottawa, Rami decided to study full-time, at least in his first year, so that he could give it his all. By second year he understood the system well enough to take on some contracting work and, while still a full-time student, undertook projects for Air Canada and the Ministry of Defence. He also managed to develop an innovative program that solved a problem in the insurance industry, and then sell the product for a considerable sum of money to an interested private company.
Not surprisingly, he had no difficulty at all getting a summer clerkship, then articles and a position with one of Canada’s leading IP law firms, Smart & Biggar. During his time there, he worked with prominent practitioners in the field and gained valuable experience in all aspects of IP practice including patent and trade mark prosecution and litigation. When he was approached by a start-up engineering company, however, he thought it an exciting prospect and decided to go in-house.
It was an interesting two years: he learned a lot and the company grew to such an extent that the legal department needed to expand. Instead, Rami decided to join Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala in Vancouver and take the company’s work with him. Oyen Wiggs was a firm with a strong IP reputation, as well as a reputation for allowing its lawyers to be creative and spread their wings, and Rami found that very appealing. Not a single day there felt like work!
After a couple of years, however, although very happy with his professional life, Rami was feeling homesick and wanted to be closer to his family. He returned to Ottawa and continued to practice and build his clientele. One of his clients subsequently had an interest in patent protection in the Gulf countries. This introduced Rami to an opportunity in Dubai and eventually led him to join Rouse, which he describes as having an environment that encourages creativity and allows him to do what he loves with the guidance and support of prominent IP leaders in the region.
Rami’s academic achievements are extraordinary by anyone’s standards, and he’s been able to hone his professional and legal skills to become an all-around trusted advisor and strategist to his clients on all aspects of IP. Clients obviously appreciate his technical expertise but find his communication skills equally important. He’s the first to admit, however, that he owes much to his family - in particular, his mother, Ferial, his brother, Sami, his sister, Rana, and his wife, Reham.
Rami’s parents were expats living in Kuwait. His father, an accountant, passed away when Rami was eight years old. The family moved to Jordan after the First Gulf War before ultimately immigrating to Canada. His mother, an educator by profession with a background in medicine, took on the role of both parents and managed to provide her children with a warm and loving environment and a well-balanced and stable upbringing. She is obviously a remarkable woman: Rami describes her as loving, well educated, independent and determined. He met his soulmate, Reham, in Dubai. They are now married with two children, Amir (four) and Talia (two), and another on the way. They enjoy a very close relationship with the whole extended family, liking nothing better than a full house. Whatever the children choose to do in life, it seems certain that their childhood will be every bit as rich, loving and balanced as Rami’s was.