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With Solutions and Celebrations - Houston Sets a New Benchmark for LES Spring Meetings

Tuesday, May 10, 2016   (0 Comments)
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With Solutions and Celebrations
Houston Sets a New Benchmark for LES Spring Meetings

The LES (USA and Canada) Spring PanAm Meeting, April 26-28, Houston, Texas, themed “Energize Your Licensing Solutions Across the Americas,” was an intellectual and tactile experience that has taken LES Spring Meetings to a whole new level.
From the LES Foundation’s dynamic Business Plan Competition to the pre-meeting workshops at ExxonMobil and JLABS, from the Gala Opening Reception celebrating World IP Day to IP’s “glitterati” of keynoters in plenary and concurrent sessions, and from a magical evening of networking and fine dining at the Houston Museum of Natural Science to the LES Houston Chapters’ Pipes and Pumps program and more, LES Spring Meetings will never be the same. Here are some highlights:

Foundation $10,000 Grand Prize Winner
The LES Foundation kicked off activities with its all-day judging competition on April 25, the final leg of an all-year competition. Hosted by Berkley Research Group offices, in Houston, six start-ups from around the world virtually presented their business plan IP strategies to the Foundation’s “shark tank” of judges—experts in IP and business development--for the Foundation’s $10,000 Grand Prize. WarpSpec Diagnostics was named the Grand Prize Winner. WarpSpec began as a North Carolina State University Jenkins MBA graduate team project with an innovative approach to detecting foodborne pathogens.

Mind Expanding Tours and Workshops
The next day took Spring PanAm registrants to their choice of two intellectually stimulating programs: the ExxonMobil Site Visit and Workshops (sponsored by ExxonMobil) and the new JLABS at Texas Medical Center Site Visit and Workshops (sponsored by Johnson & Johnson). 

ExxonMobil’s workshops included Big Data and Application Challenges in the Energy Sector; a special 3-D Visualization of Unconventional & Extended Reach Drilling; and roundtable discussions. In between workshops, ExxonMobil took participants on tours of the 10,000 employee facility. Lunch included a demonstration by ExxonMobil’s “Iron Chef” who divulged his secrets to healthy recipes at the onsite gourmet dining facility. The experience culminated in an additional tour of the ExxonMobil Energy Cube, a 10,000 ton facility artistically suspended 50 feet in the air. 

The JLABS at Texas Medical Center Site Visit and Workshops kicked off with a fascinating campus tour followed by lunch. Its power-packed workshops provided attendees with 6.50 hours of approved MCLE and included “Energizing Your Patent Strategies: Innovation Institute—How to Leverage IP Landscapes to Gain a Competitive Advantage” and “Getting a Workable Contract to Signature Sooner.”

Sector Team Margarita Challenge
Tuesday evening’s Gala Opening Reception featured USPTO – Texas Regional Office Regional Director Hope Shimabuku, who provided a warm welcome to Houston as well as informative overview of the USPTO’s operations there. Her remarks were followed by the festive LES Sector Margarita Competition, a networking event demonstrating just how well the creative juices flow at LES meetings. The LES Sector teams included Life Sciences; High Technology (sponsored by IPFC); Joint Chemicals, Energy, Environmental & Materials (sponsored by Vinson & Elkins); Industry-University-Government Interface; and Legal. The Legal team was voted best margarita by a rousing round of applause from attendees who were diligent in ensuring that each margarita concoction was thoroughly tested.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Innovation—at the Pentagon
Wednesday kicked off with a Houston style breakfast followed by Keynote Speaker Scott Jewett, co-founder and CEO of Element-Y Engineering, Irving, California, USA. Jewett presented an outstanding overview of his experience in designing explosive and fire resilient walls for the Pentagon following 9/11. His step-by-step approach to creating a solution when faced with multiple obstacles provided conference goers with keys to future challenges. 

Wednesday’s concurrent sessions and luncheon addressed business and operational strategies in a wide variety of industries from wireless to pharmaceutical as well techniques for monetizing competitive intelligence and working with government agencies. A well-deserved networking break, sponsored by Duff & Phelps, helped maintain everyone’s energy levels with generous refreshments. To view the schedule of topics and high-level speakers, click here.

Networking Night at the Museum
Move over Ben Stiller: The Houston Museum of Natural Science provided perfect settings for the Spring Meeting Gala, sponsored by Patbak--the technical consulting division of Sethlaw, and Hogan Lovells. Walking through the winding pathway of the glass-enclosed “jungle” filled with myriad butterflies from around the world was part of an extra-dimensional experience that only continued to grow as attendees moved into the Morian Natural Science Hall of Paleontology. Conversations spanning the Americas and the world buzzed nonstop as colleagues renewed relationships and established new connections while dining on tantalizing treats and tasty beverages. Tables were set amidst truck-sized marble bases supporting reconstructed skeletons of prehistoric giants who roamed the earth millions of years ago. 

South of the Border-Down Mexico Way—and Beyond
Thursday offered creative ideas, solutions-based strategies, and regulatory alerts starting with Keynote speaker Virginia Herrera Larios, manager of science & technology management, PEMEX, Mexico. Larios provided an overview of best practices and pitfalls to avoid in Mexico when bringing new ideas and technologies to fruition.

Patents: the Great Equalizer
The LES Public Policy Update demonstrated LES’s growing momentum in educating Congress  to understand that patents are the great equalizer; patents comprise an historic, fundamental economic engine powering the U.S. Economy, patent rights need to be recognized as property rights and not as grounds for a tort; and H.R. 9, in its current form, is not ready for passage.

Thursday’s concurrent sessions and lunch offered exceptional insights by Texas Federal Court judges, and by experts in Pharma, cyber security, marketing, and legal counsel.  Friday’s Post-Meeting programs included education on IP Business Basics, and a CLP Review Course-with a total 11 hours of approved MCLE. 

Take the Two-Leg Trip to the 2017 LES Spring Meeting, Washington, DC
If you like what you read about the 2016 LES Spring PanAm Meeting, you will LOVE the growing intensity of events and education earmarked for the Annual Meeting, October 23-26, Vancouver, British Columbia, and the 2017 LES Spring Meeting next year in Washington, DC.  Check it out for yourself: Register now for the Annual Meeting, and mark your calendar to attend the 2017 LES Spring Meeting! For details, email meetings@les.org.


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