The Task Force recognized that LESI would need to receive advice and input from industry on industry’s needs on a continuous basis and provide a means to implement the advice and input received.
Accordingly, the Task Force recognized a need to put in place structures to institutionalize the receipt and implementation of information and advice from Industry on its needs. To this end, the Task Force is considering three structural changes to LESI: (1) the creation of an LESI Corporate Practice Committee; (2) Reserving one or more seat(s) on the LESI Board for either: (a) corporate employees; and/or (b) “Corporate Members”; and (3) the creation of an LESI Corporate Advisory Board.
LESI Corporate Practice Committee
A simple mechanism to start receiving input from industry and to making LES more “industry-friendly” would be to establish a new Professional LESI committee: the Corporate Practice Committee. The primary role and function of the LESI Corporate Practice Committee would be to carry out the industry-related initiatives that LESI decides to undertake, such as Networking Receptions at LESI Conferences. It could also be empowered to assemble, organize and put on “corporate tracks” at LESI Meetings and Conferences. Membership would be limited to present corporate employees (for example, corporate counsels or business development professionals) or persons who happened to have held such a role at any time during the LESI year in question.
Board Seats for Corporate Members
Another way to insure that Corporate wants and needs are heard at the highest level of LESI would be to reserve a certain number of seats on the LESI Board of Directors for corporate members. In this regard, one or more such seat(s) could be reserved for either: (a) corporate employees; or (b) “Corporate Members”; or (c) some combination of (a) and (b).
Corporate Advisory Group
The Task Force’s consensus was that LES should be trying to build and develop relations with major multinationals and through that, ask them what they wanted from LESI and give them a role in fashioning that product. In this way, LESI could make certain that what it is doing is relevant to industry, gain access to a broad community of industrial legal and business development staff, and develop deep and meaningful interactions with senior executives in major multinationals. Over time, the development of such relationships would allow LESI to benefit in a number of forms (e.g. provision of delegates and speakers, understanding of needs and priorities, knowledge of training opportunities, access to key influencers in corporations), as trust and understanding develops.
To this end, the Task Force is considering proposing the formation of a group of individuals from industry (who may or may not be LES members) to serve in an advisory capacity for making suggestions for future initiatives and providing direct guidance to LESI on the relevance of its product offerings in education, meeting focus, etc., to increase LESI’s value proposition for industry. Such an Advisory Group could be from 3 to 9 persons in size (probably 7 or 8 persons being optimal).
Adoption of the above would by its nature also imply taking measures to enshrine these structural and organizational changes in LESI via amendments to the LESI By-Laws, although an Advisory Group could be established readily and with minimal need to amend the By-Laws.
Questions on which Consultation/Comments are sought
1. Should LESI create a professional committee dedicated to serving the needs of members involved in corporate licensing and IP-based transactions?
2. If so, should the membership of such a Committee be limited to LES members who are employed in corporations? Should there be a time element involved (within the LESI year in question or at some point in their career)?
3. Should corporate representation on the LESI Board be guaranteed? If so, how should this achieved?
4. Should Board Seats be reserved for corporate members? If so, how many and for whom?
5. Would alternatives, such as Observer Status on the LESI Board, be useful?
6. Assuming the present structure of the LESI Board remains as it is today, how should LESI go about informing itself as to what the needs of industry are?
7. Would the creation of a “Corporate Advisory Group” be a useful tool for permitting LES to inform itself on what the needs of industry are and what industry thinks of LESI’s present offerings.
8. What should the composition of a Corporate Advisory Group look like (how many members) and who should be asked to serve on it?
9. What should the powers of a Corporate Advisory Group be? Should it have advisory power only and over what? What it decides to look at or what it is asked to look at?
10. Should a Corporate Advisory Group have more than just advisory powers? If so, what additional powers should it have and how should they be able to be exercised?
11. What other long-term initiatives could be undertaken to increase corporate membership and participation in LES?