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President's Message

I am truly honoured to be trusted with the opportunity to serve you as President of LES International for the society year 2013-14, particularly as the first Chinese and second female in the 40 year history of LESI, to hold such a position. With the changing geo-economic landscape, there has been a rapidly growing interest in IP as well asa significant rise in cross-border IP transactions and exchanges. LES, being privileged with experts experienced in all aspects of intellectual property, through its 11,000 members across the 32 national/regional societies in over 90 countries of the world, has a unique role to play in embracing the opportunities that these changes present and in making meaningful contributions to the IP community and our members.

As a home grown IP lawyer, I am blessed that Hong Kong has been uniquely supportive of women advancing their goals and combining family life with a career. Being in one of the most dynamic market places in the world, I am always enthusiastic about ensuring we stay ahead of our time. Since the announcement of my presidency, I have embarked on preparation work and am grateful to be showered with many assurances as well as actions of support both within and outside of the LES family, including those specifically from my mother society LES China. These enthusiastic responses have empowered me with further strength and drive to pursue my presidential duties.

A Stronger LES Family – and Closer

My first encounter with LESI began in 2002 with the Annual Conference in Osaka. It struck me immediately that LES is different from other IP associations with which I have been heavily involved in the preceding 20 years of my IP practice. There was dynamic stimulation brought forth by the interaction of different sectors of people ranging from scientists, engineers, academics, governmental officials, to business people from companies of all sizes, with lawyers, patent and trademark attorneys and consultants, all sharing the common enthusiasm of advancing the business of IP. At the same time, I was deeply touched by the warmth of the LES friendship that quickly developed with many whom I met for the first time.

My passion for LES soon attracted me to serve in the leadership of LES China-HK, LESI Trademark Committee, Asia Pacific Committee and the LESI Board. These experiences have beautifully enriched my professional life and I must thank all who have inspired and supported me through the years to move forward in LES. It is my heartfelt wish to bring forth this passion that I cherish, to the entire LES community so that it will continue to excel. "A Stronger LES Family – and Closer" is my vision, as well as my challenge for this society year.

Joining Hands 攜手 Joining Hands

Under the theme of a stronger and closer LES family, I would invite all societies, committees and members to actively participate and extend the LESI culture and fundamentals by working on collaborations of all kinds, whether internally with LES or externally with other organizations, as well as sharing success stories and best practices. Five years ago, as Chairman of LESCHK, I boldly initiated the inaugural Joint Meeting of LES China, LES Chinese Taipei and LESCHK which has since developed into a bi-annual event. Following other joint meetings, such as between LES Japan and LES China, LES Singapore and LES Philippines, and with the persistent efforts of the Asia Pacific Committee, the LES Asia Pacific Regional Meeting has become a successful annual forum. I am so excited that this year it will take place from October 15 to 17 under the flag of LES China, in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, China.

Moving on, LESI will continue to actively engage in closer co-operation with other international and regional organizations such as WIPO, WTO, WHO, APEC, ASIPI and the European Commission, under the focused efforts of our External Relations Committee.

To encourage this joint power, and in keeping with my vision of "A Stronger LES Family – and Closer", our LES Family motto for this society year will be 'Joining Hands - 攜手'. This logo (above), specially designed for me by my high school classmate, Lilian Tang, who is a distinguished HK graphic designer, consists of rays of light, denoting the 'creations of the mind' developed by the joining hands. The specific colour implies 'from sea to sea', meaning engaging societies and people from all continents.

Project leader François Painchaud has reached out to all national society presidents and LESI Committee leadership to engage in collaborations and a specific webpage on this project has been created in the LESI website for continual sharing the benefits of cooperation. Meanwhile an extraordinary example of a rewarding experience that speaks to the power of LES global network was shared by Jim McCarthy in the September issue of LES Global News.

Chopsticks function best when they are in pairs. When more pairs are joined together, they cannot be readily broken and more people can share and enjoy the abundance. Being Chinese, chopsticks represent to us hospitality (i.e. friendship), abundant food (i.e. prosperity) and future generations (i.e. continuity /succession). These are my fervent wishes to all of you as we join hands in the coming year.


In this spirit of collaboration, building on the momentum and the successes of GTIF realized from the previous two years when LESI took a leading role in bringing together key players from government agencies, corporations, non-profits and NGOs in a powerful dialogue to promote the use of intellectual property licensing and technology transfer for the betterment of mankind, GTIF 2014 will continue under the theme, 'A Practical Approach to Technology Transfer - Corporate, Research and NGO Collaboration for Double-Bottom-Line Results.'  Excitingly, Heinz Goddar and Peter Chrocziel join hands with our GTIF past chairs, Jim Malackowski and Hector Chagoya, three highly regarded LES International past presidents and a Society President, in the leadership committee and more, in partnership with LES Switzerland and having the ready support of the LESI Long Range Planning Committee. Our cooperation with WIPO, WTO and CAI (Invent For Humanity) continues, and a number of other NGOs have, for the first time, reached out to us to contribute. Speakers include WIPO DG Francis Gurry, U.S. Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall R. Rader, and other key industry and NGO leaders and innovators. We are also excited about the participation of the China Patent Attorney Association led by Mr. Ma Hao.

At this event, LESI will also present two significant awards, namely LESI National IP and Technology Transfer Policy Award and LESI Outstanding Humanitarian Technology Transfer Program Award.

The 2014 GTIF will, undoubtedly, have an even stronger impact and will further enhance the importance of our organization in global technology. My deep appreciation to all who have volunteered to make this possible, including James Malackowski, Hector Chagoya, Heinz Goddar, Peter Chrocziel, Martin Schneider, Kristi Stathis, Gary Keller, and Samantha Kattalia. I urge all to mark the dates January 19 to 21, 2014 for joining in.

Driving Membership

Another key initiative in the next term will be a membership drive throughout the LES family. Inherent in this initiative will be addressing the questions of 'why should I be an LES member' and 'what is the value of LESI to member societies.' John Walker is leading a small working group to address these questions, and more importantly, will recommend ways to implement these initiatives and illustrate useful practices adopted by different LES societies. Building on earlier considerations by past LESI boards and the National Presidents' Council, as well as joining hands with the Long Range Planning Committee, this working group specifically invites sharing by all society leaders. As a start, fruitful discussions have taken place at the NPC Meeting on 25 September 2013. Updates on these initiatives will be reported in future issues of the LES Global News.

Appreciation to the Dedicated

The wonderful volunteer spirit of LES members around the world in advancing IP has been the legacy that LES continues to stand for, and of which all of us in the LES Family can always be proud. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of LESI, let us remember, with gratitude, all those who have relentlessly dedicated, in word and deed, to the creation and evolvement of our organization.

Special pages commemorating the 40th Anniversary will continue in the coming issues of LES Global News when LESI Past Presidents and Gold Medal Awardees will share what LES has impressed them the most in their long devotion in LES.

In special recognition of some of the outstanding volunteers, in addition to the existing LESI Gold Medal and the Certificate of Merit, new awards will be introduced by the LESI Awards Committee. These are:

  • 'LESI Service Recognition Award' - to persons who have in a particular manner fulfilled a service for LESI.
  • 'Most Progressive Society of the Year' - to a society that has made the most significant progress in the year.
  • 'Outstanding Activity/Event of the Year' - to a society that has developed a unique program in the year that brings enhanced benefit to the members or wins new members.

Please join hands with me in giving a big applause to all who have walked extra miles in contributing to LES and whose devotion has made an invaluable difference to LES.

Establishment of a new LES society

With the shifting of the global economic gravity to the East, and pursuant to my Asian base, a special project has been in place since last year, with the aim of establishing a foundation for an LES society in Thailand. I am grateful to have the support of the past and current LESI Membership Committee and the LESI Board to this project. With Patricia Bunye as Chair and Heinz Goddar as Advisor and LES Japan as the provisional mentor society, we have been working closely with the Thailand organizing group that is composed of members from academia, business, government agencies and the legal sector.

Whilst this project will be a lengthy process, I am most happy to witness the keen interest of all involved and the great progress already achieved. I am looking forward to continual advancement on this very exciting creation of a new LES society in the expansion of our organization and will render my full support to see this happen.

I warmly invite all of you to directly participate in the plans and activities for the society year 2013-14 and thank you in advance for your feedback and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to email me at yvonnechua@lesi.org or yvonnechua@wilgrist.com. In unity, there is strength. Joining hands with my Board and Chris, and with your support and contributions, we are confident in advancing the hard work and solid foundation laid by our past presidents as the world's pre-eminent IP commercialization organization and in delivering even more value to our member societies and through them, to each individual member.

Yvonne Chua
LESI President 2013-2014