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First-Ever LES (USA & Canada) Mid-Year Meeting Meets with Big Success in the Big Apple

Wednesday, April 08, 2015  
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The first-ever Licensing Executives Society (U.S.A. & Canada) Mid-Year Meeting, 'Advancing and Enhancing Business Development, Deals & Innovation, drew 300 top intellectual property business executives, licensing leaders, VCs, entrepreneurs and others to New York's Crowne Plaza Times Square March 24 through 27.

The meeting's 5-track, sector-focused program delivered an array of educational workshops, extended networking breaks, sector dinners and networking receptions, as well as newly-added, sector-specific facilitated roundtable discussions that allowed attendees to engage with colleagues at a much higher level and to share experiences, challenges, questions and potential solutions.

"Given how successful the facilitated roundtables have been at the annual IP100 Executive Forums, we knew they would add a powerful dimension to the Mid-Year Meeting," said 2014 Meeting Chair Kevin Arst.

U.S. District Judge James Holderman offered the keynote address and his perspective on F/RAND licensing.  Judge Holderman is one of only a handful of federal judges who has made a F/RAND determination in the context of a multi-district litigation.  He did so in the fall of 2013 in Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC Patent Litigation, MDL 2303.

Attendees also heard from featured luncheon speaker David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine and Moore LLP and Former Undersecretary of Commerce for IP & Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, who discussed the evolution of the USPTO from an agency once 'secretive' and 'reclusive' to the more transparent and available government agency of today. Mr. Kappos told attendees that, despite current anti-IP rhetoric, government leaders "have a great appreciation for what you do and what we all care about, which is having our country have the strongest, most accessible, most respected patent system and intellectual property system in the world."

Other highlights included a mock mediation organized and presented by the World Intellectual Property Organization and moderated by LES (USA & Canada) President Russell Levine, and a district court judges panel that offered judicial insights into patent infringement litigation. The panel featured Judge Holderman (N.D. Illinois) and Judge McMahon (S.D. New York), and was moderated by New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) President Charles Hoffman.

The inaugural Mid-Year Meeting also played host to the LES Foundation International Graduate Student Business Plan Competition Finals where six teams of top student entrepreneurs showcased their innovative IP-based start ups. Case Western University walked away with the $10,000 Grand Prize for Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG), a pre-commercial medical device company specializing in the development of rapid, accurate, and inexpensive disease diagnostic tests. The $5,000 LES International-sponsored Global Award went to Vibronix of Purdue University, which aims to provide advanced imaging solutions for disease diagnostic, treatment guidance, and therapeutics development.  Visit www.lesfoundation.org for more information on the LES Foundation Competition.

LES now looks forward to its 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in San Francisco, October 5-8. As with the Mid-Year Meeting, sector leaders are at work building a rich and highly relevant program to be delivered by top executive presenters. Many of the world's largest operating companies have signed on to present at the meeting, which will offer keynote addresses by both Quentin Hardy, Deputy Technology Editor for the New York Times and Andrea Ingram, Director of the Center for Advancement of Science Education, sector-specific Titans of Licensing panels, release of the new Life Sciences Global Royalty Rates Survey, presentation of the popular Top 10 Court Decisions Affecting Licensing, and the 2014 Deals of Distinction Awards presentation.

Watch for the May issue of Viewpoints for a more in-depth look at 2014 Mid-Year Meeting highlights, and visit www.lesannual.org for 2014 Annual Meeting details and to take advantage of early-bird registration discounts.