The Task Force recognized several initiatives that could be considered which could be done immediately, with little fanfare and resources, and which would assist LES in reaping some of the “low hanging fruit” that exists in this area. These initiatives are in the areas of: (a) Government and Public Policy and Opinion Shaping; and (b) education.
Government and Public Policy and Opinion-Shaping Initiatives
The first area included initiatives that would get LES more involved with interacting with governmental and non-governmental policy makers and opinion leaders and in the shaping and influencing of public opinion. These initiatives would be more directed at senior members of companies. Specific initiatives to be considered are: (a) increased support for the GTIF which puts LESI in direct contact with International and National Governmental officials, as well as leaders of Public Interest Groups; (b) increased committee participation in governmental policy papers, such as EU consultation documents; (c) the development, establishment and maintenance of Corporate and Industry Outreach Programs; and (d) increased co-operation with International Organizations, in addition to WIPO.
It is understood that any such initiatives would require LESI to maintain its traditional neutral and impartial stance beyond its defense of the IP system and stated desire for better harmonization and transparent enforcement of IP laws. In this respect, the Task force recognized that LESI occupies a unique space which it should try to maintain.
The Task Force noted that in some companies where the “Policy” function is split from the business/IP functions and dealt with by a department, such as “Government Affairs” which is separate from the IP Department, the value proposition from these types of initiatives will be minimal.
The Task Force also acknowledged that certain specialized and “Targeted” educational offerings that are specifically directed to corporate issues, can also bring high value to corporate employees, including highly-placed corporate employees. Examples of such offerings are the IP100 and corporate courses/seminars/days. Indeed, the IP100 course is specifically directed to higher level licensing executives as is the LESI Corporate seminars where day-long seminars concerning licensing are organized for the executives of (usually) large corporations. In a variation on this, certain Member Societies, such as LES France have successfully made agreements with certain corporations and organizations to do targeted corporate trainings, with good success. The Task Force would like opinion and comment on such approaches.
The Task Force observed that, one of the best ways to get industry people involved is to bring many of them together in one place in an informal setting where they can discuss and network. Providing for extended Networking receptions at Corporate-themed Meetings would also be useful for that purpose. Indeed, many private law firms use such mechanisms to increase their corporate client base and fidelity.
Questions on which Consultation/Comments are sought
1. Would being an organization who is involved with formulating and shaping Public Policy add value to LESI for corporations?
2. What types of public policy initiatives/activities should LESI be engaging in?
3. What types of public policy initiatives/initiatives should LESI avoid engaging in?
4. Would the provision of “targeted” educational initiatives for corporations help increase LESI’s value proposition for those corporations?
5. What types of educational initiatives/activities should LESI be engaging in to attract corporate membership/participation?
6. What types of educational initiatives/activities should LESI avoid engaging in to attract corporate membership/participation?
7. What is the feeling about corporate- employees only events, such as the IP100? Do such events create divisions (real or perceived) within LES?
8. Would a process of managing the attendee list to allow a small number (e.g. 5%) of private practice lawyers to attend these events be preferable? Would such a process dilute the focus of these meetings and act against open and frank experience-sharing?
9. What other short-term initiatives could be undertaken to increase corporate membership and participation in LES?