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September 2014

Emphasizing Two Types Of Actions

Arnaud MichelBy Arnaud Michel, President, LES International

Dear Friends and LES members,

It is with the utmost pleasure that I address you at the beginning of my presidency of LESI.

I would first like to sincerely thank you for having elected me, through your international delegates, to this position. It is a great honour.

I will do my best to lead the LESI in a way which will confirm its position as a leader and innovator in the IP world, and maintain its deep roots in industry.

We are unique. We must know that we are, understand why we are, take advantage of our uniqueness, and let the rest of the world benefit from our unique skills.

My predecessors have worked tirelessly in adapting LESI and the LES societies around the world to the new economic environment, to its constraints but also to its aspirations.

Jim Malackowski launched the Global Technology Impact Forum (GTIF) which has considerably strengthened our links to WIPO, WTO and the national IP authorities.

In the same line, Yvonne Chua showed us the path to follow, and how much easier and more efficient it is when LES members are "Joining Hands."

All these projects were able to develop properly thanks to the great work done by Kevin Nachtrab reinforcing our committees role.

I was very impressed a few years ago at the 2012 Auckland international conference by the equitable approach to IP already developed in that part of the world.

All this clearly shows that the whole LES family is deeply conscious of the needs of the world and keen to share its invaluable expertise, particularly when it comes to technology transfer.

I am not talking about giving up IP rights, nor the appropriate financial return on the R&D which has led to those rights. There is no doubt that IP has value and should bring wealth, but this may not be incompatible with a new and more equitable approach. Quite a few national and regional chapters have already begun to reflect, and act accordingly, along with the Patent offices and other national authorities and principal industries. This is to be encouraged.

The experience gained by the first LES societies to be active in this area is available to the other chapters. During my term, I would like to pursue and develop these objectives by emphasizing two types of actions.

I would like to make sure that you are fully aware of what is going on with the other LES Chapters in your region, including details of what has been done and what will be done; how your Chapter can benefit from a good experience in a neighbouring Society and how you can pull things together.

In this difficult economic environment, we must pay attention to remaining open and international. It is in many respects easier to do this at a regional level than at a worldwide level.

My second concern addresses the special attention we must pay to our young members; they are the future of our organization. They are particularly sensitive to the important issues I mention above. We need their input. They must feel at home. The must feel that they are given at least equal, if not greater, chances to participate in the LES family. We have now organized a young member's group at the regional level (Europe, Asia, America). We need you to make sure that all young members are properly informed of these groups. Encourage them to join and support them.

The mentoring program will also help with integrating our young members and to get the best out of them.

I have no doubt that in the coming months each of us will, in our own capacity, contribute to the progress of these essential projects, which will make you proud to be an LES member, and I am grateful to all of you for that.

I hope we will have the opportunity to discuss these issues further on the occasion of my visit to your country or region during the next few months.

Our International Conference to be held in Brussels in April 2015 will also be an appropriate forum to consider the progress we have made together to achieve these objectives. I invite you to attend personally. With you, it will be unique.

Bien amicalement à vous tous.