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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Phosita

Editor's note: Could it possibly be the forty-ninth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs already? Yes, it is!

Phosita is an intellectual property blog and part of that special genre known as the law blog, or "blawg." It is the blog of the Oklahoma and Washington based law firm of Dunlap, Codding & Rogers. Douglas Sorocco, along with Melody Wirz, Neal Rogers and Julianna Deligans, are the bloggers.

Phosita has one of the most intriguing "about" sections of any blog out there, because it is a little lesson about the law:

"PHOSITA is everyone and no one in particular. PHOSITA is an intellectual property blawg or patent blog. In patent law, PHOSITA is a mythical person of ordinary skill in the art. Why is PHOSITA important? In order to be patentable, an invention must not be obvious to PHOSITA. This blawg (legal blog) aims to provide intellectual property information, explantion and advice that is of interest to the PHOSITA in all of us."
Law blogs are a unique animal. There are hundreds of them -- maybe more. They tend to be erudite and substantive. Yet they often have a kind of intellectual humor and wit, and can be very entertaining. Take, for instance, this recent post from Phosita about moleskine notebooks, which is not strictly about legal matters but seems right at home on the site:
It's Friday (TGIF) and I must admit, I am part of a cult. I am a Moleskine'ista. There isn't much I can do about it. These little notebooks have been with me all over the world and back. *** I have waived it at irate cabbies, hidden behind it while lounging over coffee, and used it to make a point during a speech. I once waived it so furiously during a seminar that the participants started giggling and offered up a resounding Hallelujah -- I guess I looked like some type of southern preacher with my bible in hand.

Some of the posts cover technical legal issues, and probably will be most meaningful and useful to other lawyers. And apparently they are. Phosita has been named by Managing Intellectual Property as one of the top ten intellectual property blogs on the net.

For non-lawyers, especially existing clients of the firm, a blog like Phosita can be useful, but in a different way. Many lawyers -- not necessarily the ones behind Phosita, but just in general -- can seem intimidating in the typical courtroom or office setting where most clients see them. Reading a post about something as interesting and human as a passion for moleskines helps humanize the attorneys and eventually lead to closer relationships. And along the way, it doesn't hurt to pick up a few tidbits about trademark law, etc.

Phosita has done a nice job integrating its blog with the law firm's website. For instance, each of the attorneys who post on the site are identified by full name, with links to their email addresses and their biographies. The law firm name and addresses are also clearly identified, along with a link to the firm's main website. And on the firm's website, there is a prominent menu item for the blog. The most recent blog post is also reproduced on the website home page. The lawyers have done a better job leveraging their blog for marketing purposes than many marketing professionals!

The Power: The Power of Phosita is in the way it puts a human face on the lawyers behind it. At the same time, it serves as a valuable resource to other attorneys interested in intellectual property law.
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