PETOŠEVIĆ PEOPLE: Q&A with Igor Alfiorov
Based in our Kyiv office, Associate Igor Alfiorov focuses on trademark prosecution and enforcement in Ukraine and other countries of the Russian-speaking region. He also handles anti-counterfeiting and customs enforcement activities in Ukraine. We asked Igor about his work, his favorite food, things most people don’t know about him, and much more.
How did you start your career in IP?
I had a special course on IP during my studies at the university and found this field very interesting, especially because it relates to human creativity, which I admire. After graduation I started working for an IP law firm and I found myself in this profession.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The inefficiency of official bodies in general.
What do you most enjoy doing at work?
Resolving cases and receiving “thank you” emails from clients. Also, each case is different, so you always continue learning something new.
What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?
I also thought about studying history or art history, so I would probably be working in one of these fields.
What was the first job you’ve ever had?
My very first job was taking the dog out for walks when my sister was busy or did not want to bother. As the son of an accountant, I even raised the costs of my services due to inflation.
My first real job was translating movie and TV series scripts for dubbing. I loved this job! Once they gave me a whole season of a crime drama to watch and translate.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
I would like to say that it is going to the gym, reading books, watching TED Talks and art house films, collecting small-scale sculptures and doing pottery, but my real favorite things to do are eating and sleeping. However, I do make time available for some of the things mentioned above. I also like cooking — I find it very relaxing.
What book did you read last?
“The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates” by Frans de Waal. This is a very interesting and thoughtful book written by a primatologist who suggests that morality and ethics, including concepts such as justice and respect for other beings, do not come from the “above” or from religious texts, but are always inside us, humans, and other animals, including apes, as well.
I also enjoyed reading “What Are You Looking At?” by Will Gompertz, who very easily explained the complex history of modern art and how all art movements of the past 150 years are connected to each other.
I am also a big fan of James S. A. Corey’s “The Expanse” sci-fi book series. The TV series is also cool!
What is your favorite song/music at the moment?
I am very bad at finding new songs. I usually find a “new” song when it has been already playing for three or four months.
My YouTube Music account is a weird place where popular singers and songs are mixed with local singers and bands (sometimes quite particular ones) and classical music. So, it is always a surprise for people and for myself to see what will come next after a Shawn Mendes song.
I like and very often listen to Jessie Ware, Florence and the Machine, Coeur de Pirate, and Imagine Dragons. These are probably my favorites.
What is your favorite dish of all time?
Pasta. All types and with any sauce. Also, prosciutto and jamón. I feel lucky that my sister lives in Italy. I am grateful that her life choice met my culinary needs.
If you could meet anyone in the world, from the past or present, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet my grandpa again and play chess with him one more time.
It would be very risky to meet someone famous who is no longer alive because such meetings would change the future and turn the world into chaos. But if I had to do this, I would go to Paris in the late XIX century to meet a few artists and help them financially by buying some of their works (of course, if I could bring those souvenirs back to 2021).
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
I loved history. It helped me grow up to be a rather useful and also very annoying travel companion. I just recently realized that I was able to provide an unbearable amount of historical facts to people I traveled with.
What did you want to be when growing up?
At first, I wanted to be an accountant, like my mom, but luckily for me, some innocent company and the financial system as a whole, I changed my mind and decided to become a LEGO designer. In the end, my love for creativity and putting everything in order brought me to law and intellectual property.
Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.
I broke my arm three times in the same place in one year. I usually tell three different stories about each fracture and how it happened so it looks like three separate things. Nothing more important or interesting than these three fractures, that I haven’t told people yet, has happened in my life.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would like to learn to play the piano. Also, it would be nice to have the ability to travel like Hayden Christensen in the “Jumper” movie, by teleportation.
What is your biggest frustration about the world around you?
Lack of empathy and sympathy for each other. People focus on things that divide us instead of things that unite us. I am also frustrated by ecology issues and the ongoing wars and conflicts.
What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
Metabolism really tends to slow down with age.
What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?
Don’t worry too much and be yourself. Also, I would advise checking for cryptocurrencies and buying some of them as soon as they appear (they would not have been so expensive back in the day).
What cities/countries have you lived in?
I have lived in Kyiv, Ukraine, and for a short period of time, during my studies, in Teramo, Italy.
If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?
I am not very picky, so I will happily provide several options. I would choose either Budapest, Hungary (I really liked the city and goulash) or any country on the Adriatic Sea coast because of its climate and proximity to Italy, where my sister lives.
If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?
It is best to come to Kyiv in the summer. We would start near the Golden Gate, the historical main gate to Kyiv, where we would have breakfast in a nice café before going to St. Sophia Cathedral — it is almost a millennium old, originally built like a smaller version of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. We could then walk around the central area. Afterwards, we would have lunch in a contemporary Ukrainian cuisine restaurant and stroll through Andriyivskyy Descent down to the Podil neighborhood. This area is full of street artists and souvenir vendors, and there are many nice bars where we could have an after-lunch cocktail or a coffee. In the evening, we could start with an open-air music concert on the rooftop of the TSUM department store, overlooking Khreshchatyk Street, the main street in Kyiv, and finish the day with a dinner nearby.
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