Linked InFacebookYouTubeTwitter

LESI 2019 Winter Planning Meeting

January 25-27 in Miami, Florida

Register Online Here

WPM Attendee List as of 5 December 2018

On behalf of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), we ask that you save the date to attend the upcoming LESI Winter Planning Meeting to be held January 25-27 in Miami, Florida. As per tradition, the WPM is by invitation of the President Elect.

The event will start with a seminar covering topical IP related issues on Friday, January 25th at 2:30 pm which will be hosted by the Miami offices of law firm Akerman LLP. This will be followed by a one day meeting on Saturday, January 26th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are hoping to have a number of external speakers at the morning session -more information will be available soon . On Sunday morning , we will be hosting a number of excursions; including a golf tournament for those who are interested. We will have an opening reception on Friday evening and a Scottish themed dinner (with entertainment) on Saturday (so please bring your kilts!). The Friday reception and the Saturday Meeting and dinner will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami


Luxury Miami Hotel | InterContinental Miami
InterContinental Miami is a luxury Miami hotel located on the water. Our Miami accommodations create the best experience among luxury hotels in Miami.

The program has two maintain objectives. The first is to focus on the deliverables that make up the LESI value proposition and then prioritize them for the Presidential Year 2019/20. The second objective is to bring in some outstanding external speakers to facilitate a strategic discussion about specific things we can do to improve the most highly prioritized aspects of LESI for the future.

In the next few weeks, we will be posting a detailed agenda, the discounted hotel booking information for the Intercontinental Hotel and other weekend event information.

We very much hope you will accept our invitation to join us in January and help make it an unqualified success. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or the LESI Executive Administrator Chris Katopis at Thank you.

François Painchaud
LESI President

Fiona Nicolson
LESI President Elect

Register Online Here

LESI Winter Planning Meeting 2019
Miami, Florida
Intercontinental Hotel

Taking the business of Intellectual Property to the next level – together

Overview and Agenda

The theme and objective of our winter planning meeting is working together to develop the leadership, dedication, excellence, and differentiation needed for LESI to prevail in the competitive world. 

We will examine where we are as an organization, the priorities we want to achieve, where we want to be a year from now, and then make concrete plans on how we will get there so we can execute those plans in the coming year.

This initial agenda outlines the steps we will take: (1) a board meeting, (2) a roundtable discussion of the key developments and issues in global licensing, (3) presentations by invited guests on building leadership, strategy, and operations in today's competitive world, (4) a strategic examination of where we are and what we have been doing, and (5) a discussion of priorities and projects for the coming year and how they will be accomplished. 

We will have lots of time to have fun as well throughout the day and into the evening, with a special Scottish reception and dinner.

All input and questions are welcome.  (Further details will be available soon). Looking forward to seeing you there!

Friday 25th January 2019 - Akerman LLP Seminar

10:00 to 14:00 LESI Board Meeting
Intercontinental Hotel
14:00 to 17:15

Joint Seminar - LESI and Akerman LLP
Current global issues in Licensing and Enforcing patents and trademarks - A business overview focusing on major jurisdictions - the USA, China and Europe

Kindly hosted by the Law Firm, Akerman LLP, 98 SE 7th St #1100, Miami, FL 33131 (a short taxi ride from the hotel)

14:00 Arrival and registration
14:15 Welcome
  • François Painchaud – LESI, President
  • Bob Held, LES (USA& Canada), President
14:25 Overview of International IP Licensing Trends
  • Larry Lian, Attorney Advisor,U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, China Resource Center

14:50 Patent Panel  
  • Jim Sobieraj, Brinks Gilson, (Past President LESI ) ,moderator
  • Mattia Dalla Costa, CBA
  • Michael Switzer, Akerman LLP
  • Ningling Wang, Finnegan
  • Brian Hinman, Chief Innovation Officer, Aon IP Solutions (formerly CIPO  Philips)
16:05 Coffee Break
16:20 Trade Mark Panel
  • Patricia Bunye, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, (Past President LESI ) Moderator
  • Simon Chalkey, Wiggin LLP
  • Rachel B. Rudensky, Akerman LLP
  • Christopher Shaowei, China NTD
17:15 -18:00 Adjourn/ Reception hosted by Akerman
18:00 to 20:00 Welcome Cocktail Reception
Intercontinental Hotel Miami – roof deck terrace

Saturday 26th January 2019 - Winter Planning Meeting

08:45 Welcome and overview of the Agenda
François Painchaud and Fiona Nicolson
09:00 to 11:00 How to build leadership, strategy, and operations in a competitive world
Panel and group discussion with invited guests
09:00 to 9:45

Building Leadership

09:45 to 11:00

Panel Session: How to build strategy and operations in a competitive world

11:00 Coffee break
11:30 to 13:00 LES today - who we are and what we are doing
Presentations and discussion
François Painchaud
13:00 to 14:00 Lunch
14:00 to 15:30 LES tomorrow - priorities and projects in the coming year
Looking forward to Yokohama and beyond
Group discussion on how to proceed
Fiona Nicolson
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Concluding remarks and recap
16:15 to 17:15 Social event
Intercontinental Hotel Miami
18:30 to 21:30 Scottish Reception and Dinner
With musical entertainment and short speeches.
  • Tartan dress encouraged but optional 
  • Considering a Scotch Whisky Reception (kindly hosted by distillers Edrington
    (Macallan, Highand Park and Famous Grouse) to be part of the pre-dinner reception
  • 25th January is the birthday of Robert Burns Scotland's most famous poet - Burns Suppers are held all over the world this weekend to celebrate his life and works - always great fun!

Sunday 27th January 2019

Sunday morning optional paid excursions

  • Option 1 Golf Outing
    A golf outing is being arranged at the Miami Shore Country Club. 
    The cost is $99 per golfer, which includes green fees and a cart/buggy. 
    Golf clubs may be rented at the course.  Space is limited. 
    Please contact the Office about registering and other details.
  • Option 2 Cultural Art Tour
    Details to follow
    Please contact the Office about registering and other details.

Friday Speaker Bios

Patricia A. O. Bunye
Patricia Bunye is a Senior Partner and the Deputy Managing Partner for Administration of Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia.

She is a partner in its Intellectual Property Department and also heads the firm's Mining & Natural Resources Department and the Energy practice group. 

Her Intellectual Property practice is focused on trademarks and IP commercialization, including licensing and franchising, and the registration of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products with the Food & Drug Administration.

She was the President of the Licensing Executives Society International from 2016-17 and was the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to hold this position.

She is also the Founding President of Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc., a non-government organization advocating the responsible development of the Philippines' wealth in resources. 

She is in the 2018 list of The Philippines' Top 100 Lawyers 2018 and has been cited by various international law research publications such as Chambers, Legal 500, Asia Law, among many others.

[back to top]

Rachel Rudensky
Rachel Rudensky is a member of Akerman's Intellectual Property Practice. She assists her clients in all facets of brand development around the world. She represents clients in a wide variety of sectors including, fashion, entertainment, hospitality, professional sports, healthcare, financial services, and consumer goods. Her practice encompasses trademarks, copyrights, and internet disputes involving domain names.

Rachel's clients value her experience in building and managing strong trademark portfolios across diverse sectors. Her comprehensive work includes the evaluation and clearance of marks, trademark registration, and trademark prosecution before U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Rachel also enforces intellectual property rights in the U.S. and abroad, practices before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and advises clients with respect to licensing disputes, anti-counterfeiting and litigation. In the transactional realm, Rachel negotiates and drafts license agreements, purchase agreements, co-existence agreements, and assignments.

[back to top]

Jim Sobieraj
Jim Sobieraj a licensed patent attorney with more than 35 years of experience in the procurement, licensing and enforcement of IP rights. Jim has been lead counsel in many litigations involving patent infringement, ownership of patent rights, license disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets, trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, defamation, fraud, antitrust, breach of contract and other commercial litigation.  Jim has represented clients in many mediations and arbitrations.  He also advises clients on negotiating and drafting IP licensing agreements, and on creating and defending IP portfolios and strategies.  Jim is a past president of the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc., the Licensing Executives Society International, and Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest IP law firms in the United States.

[back to top]

Michael Switzer
A registered patent lawyer with a background in electrical engineering, Michael Switzer is the chair of Akerman's Intellectual Property Practice Group. He leads a team of highly skilled lawyers and patent professionals practicing at the intersection of technology and law.  Drawing upon experiences gained from a diverse career of over 25 years in intellectual property, Michael supports his clients' business objectives through intellectual property counseling, licensing, and litigation.

Michael began his intellectual property career as a patent examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office.  In addition to his firm experience, he has twice acted as in-house intellectual property counsel.  Early in his career Michael resided in Tokyo, Japan, while serving as the first in-house U.S. patent counsel for Hitachi, Ltd.  As a member of Hitachi's International Licensing Department, he drafted and negotiated dozens of agreements.  More recently, Michael served as in-house counsel for a major multinational medical device company, where he managed all of the intellectual property aspects of certain medical device product lines from initial clearance to market through litigation.

[back to top]

Saturday Speaker Bios

Vince Garlock
Vince Garlock is the Deputy Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), where he is primarily involved in the shaping, development and communication of AIPLA's domestic policy initiatives.  Prior to coming to AIPLA, Vince was in private practice and was counsel for several years to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.  There he worked on the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, where he was involved in the consideration of numerous pieces of IP legislation. 

Prior to coming to Washington, Vince was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio.  He also practiced law at a litigation firm in Ohio, and began his legal career as a criminal prosecutor.  Vince holds an LLM in Intellectual Property Law from George Washington University, a J.D. from the University of Toledo, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Ohio State University. 

[back to top]

Scott Johnstone
Scott has been founder CEO of the Scottish Lifesciences Association since 2011. The SLA is a membership organisation with over 130 members from large pharmaceutical companies to digital health start-ups. He started his career with a large pharmaceutical company where he gained technology transfer and R&D experience with a broad range of companies including Fisons (UK), Kevex based in California and Applied Research Laboratories based in Switzerland. From 1998 to April 2004 he was co-founder and MD of YAbA Ltd and secured venture capital to develop and manufacture human and veterinary diagnostic products. He was a member of the Scottish Government's Life Sciences Advisory Board where he chaired its Technology Workstream from 2009-2011. Scott is CEO of Benenox Ltd which he co-founded in 2014 and launched the first product, Benenox, in 2017. Scott is also founding Director of Caledonian Informatics.

Scott is a Chartered Engineer and holds an Honours Degree in Engineering from Edinburgh Napier University and a MBA from Edinburgh University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. He is a former Scientific Member and Vice-Chair of Medical Research Scotland and current advisory board member with Promedim Ltd. Scott also forms the Health Innovation Partnership Industry Liaison Team in partnership with the Scottish Government.

[back to top]

General Richard I. Neal
Following graduation from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, General Neal was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.  For the next thirty-five years, General Neal commanded at every level within the Marine Corps; battery, battalion, brigade and as the Second Marine Division Commander.  He served two tours in the Republic of Vietnam, and was twice decorated with the United States' third highest award for gallantry, the Silver Star Medal. During Operation Desert Storm, General Neal served as the Deputy Director of Operations for General Schwarzkopf and was also responsible for briefing the international press on the war. General Neal was promoted to four stars and assigned as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps before his retirement in 1998. Subsequent to his retirement he has been the President of three companies dealing with the licensing of Intellectual Property. General Neal was the Senior Mentor for the United States Marine Corps for five years and is currently a Senior Fellow for the National Defense University. Additionally, General Neal was the Chairman of the Board for the Military Officers Association of America and is presently on the Board of Directors for Humanetics Corporation, for Steel Partners Holding, LP, and is on the Board of Trustees for Norwich University. General Neal holds a B.S. in History and Education from Northeastern University, a M.Ed. from Tulane University and is a graduate of The National War College. General Neal recently published a memoir "What Now, Lieutenant?" He and his wife Kathy have three children and eight Grandchildren and have lived on Capitol Hill since his retirement from the Marine Corps.

[back to top]

Samantha Roe
Samantha Roe, IOM, recently joined the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Region One as the Executive Director. Roe brings a variety of chapter management, membership development and international experience to the association from her previous positions.

Most recently Roe enhanced member onboarding and retention; restructured committees to tackle initiatives that affect the mining industry; and increased international membership with the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). Roe has restructured, redesigned and implemented strategic programs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. and oversaw chapter relations and service to local members of the Financial Planning Association's (FPA) 93 chapters. 

[back to top]