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December 2014

LESI-Maintaining An International Flavor

Arnaud MichelBy Arnaud Michel, President, LES International

Dear Friends and LES members,

It is my pleasure to update you on the things that have been keeping me busy for LESI these past few weeks.

As you know from my previous message, it is particularly important in the current economic environment for our National Societies to keep an international approach, to emphasize regional activities, and to give young members an increasing role in our organization.

Due to our new governance system, this was the first year after several, (decades,) that no LESI International Delegates Meeting was organized in addition to the LES (USA & Canada) Annual Meeting.

To maintain an international flavor, LESI organized a Board Meeting in San Francisco as well as a joint Board Meeting with LES (USA & Canada). I would like to particularly thank Russell Levine for the extreme friendship that he has shown to LESI in general and to me, (particularly,) during his term as president of LES (USA & Canada) and during the conference. LESI wishes great success to his successor, Pamela Demain.

We have also organized a meeting of the National Presidents and the Past International Presidents in San Francisco.

We owe a lot to LES (USA & Canada). Without them, we would not exist. LES (USA & Canada) was celebrating its 50th anniversary and I had the honor and pleasure to make the opening remarks. I recalled that after only a few years, LES (USA & Canada) very rapidly realized that the correct outlook for development of the IP business was not national but international, and began the creation of other LES National Chapters, and then LESI to facilitate their coordination.

   
LESI President Arnaud Michel (left) presenting at the LES (USA & Canada) Annual Meeting in San Francisco with LES (USA & Canada) Past-President Russell Levine.

Today, international is even more important.

The LES Members should take advantage of the fabulous skills of 10,000 highly experienced IP practitioners around the world across 32 societies covering around 90 countries.

I left San Francisco to attend the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Licensing Association of Thailand (LAT), which I hope will soon become our 33rd LES Chapter. I also had the pleasure of giving the opening speech.

The conference gathered around 130 participants from Thailand, but also from other countries of the Asian and South East Asian region, and also featured International speakers.

LAT is an excellent example of what the LES family looks for when welcoming a new chapter.

 
LAT Officers along with LES representatives including Patricia Bunye, Arnaud Michel, Yvonne Chua, Audrey Yap and Yu Sarn Chiew.
 
Demonstration of martial arts at the start of the LAT meeting.

The new association benefits from the heavy involvement of industry, notably from our friends from SCG and other industrial companies. I must pay a special thank you and congratulations to Dr. Wilaiporn Chetanachan, Corporate Technology Office- Director of SCG, and her team for supporting and organizing this event so well.

Service providers were present, both from local firms and international firms with officers in Thailand and in South East Asia. Alan Adcock, Partner and Deputy Director, IP, of Tilleke & Gibbins, has also been a cornerstone in the organization of the meeting and more generally of LAT.

Universities and research centers are also members of LAT, such as the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) of Thailand.

The three LES families (industry, service providers, and universities) are, therefore, well represented in the association's very open and constructive outlook. No doubt this future chapter will find great success, both in Thailand and in the South East Asia region.

 

Annual Meeting of LES China in Shanghai, China.

I left Bangkok to attend the annual meeting of LES China in Shanghai where I was delighted to be given the opportunity to make the opening remarks and emphasize the international themes which are so close to my heart. I would like to give special thanks to Yibin Feng, secretary of the Board of LES China, who has been extremely supportive in the organization of my visit.

Again, this was a very well organized meeting, with national and international speakers, and speakers and attendees from industry, from national and international firms, and specialized IP courts. The debates were very interactive.

We heard the general counsel of Jala Corporation, one of the leading Chinese cosmetic companies. You can imagine how fascinating their IP issues are. We listened with great interest to Mrs. Xiaohong Qian, representative of the Supreme People's Court.

The visit to Qoros Automotive Co. Ltd the next day was also very impressive. This company, which has only existed for seven years, is now manufacturing and selling four different models of cars incorporating very sophisticated technology. Qoros cars are ranked five stars on the Chinese and international safety tests. This amazing industrial venture is mainly the result of a policy of very strong and smart licensing in. Amber Sun, the general counsel of Qoros, who had already given us a great speech in Moscow, welcomed us and introduced us to the key developers and managers of her company, and we all went back home with a car (die-cast).

I could not attend the visit to the Shanghai Design and Result Institute of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, but I heard it was also a great success.

I then visited Beijing, to be very warmly welcomed and accompanied by Mr. Zhou Zhongqi, vice president of CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Offices.

Mr. Zhongqi accompanied me on a visit to the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC (SIPO) where I met the Deputy Director General, Mr. Liu Jian, as well as his colleagues dealing with international affairs, a very constructive meeting. SIPO knows LESI and LES China well and showed that it is willing to cooperate with us further. I emphasized how much they could help us and LES China with recruiting new members from the industry in China. I also reminded them that, in all countries, we expect a lot from the younger generation and that we should look for opportunities to attract young members to the LES National Societies, to give them opportunities to speak in the meetings and to provide the Board with their views.

   
Arnaud Michel visits the State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC (SIPO) in Beijing, China.

I left our friends at SIPO with a copy of our latest survey on royalty rates, which was a great example of how unique Around the World with LES is and how deeply we are involved with the industry.

I ended my trip with a meeting at the China International Technology Transfer Center (CITTC). This platform is an entry point into China's extensive emerging market with its connections all around China. It will collect information on the needs of Chinese industry for new technologies and their licensing-in. LESI and LES Regional and National Societies can cooperate with CITTC and try to help them in finding the appropriate technologies they are looking for.

I am really happy to be able to share with you these exiting moments which show how Around the World with LES really is dynamic and well thought of. Amitiés.