Last month, we held our 2021 Annual Meeting, a virtual event that brought together IP and licensing leaders from across the U.S. and Canada (and around the world) for four days of engaging presentations and panels, informative educational sessions and valuable networking. We presented over 30 sessions featuring more than 100 speakers, and we were thrilled to welcome close to 600 participants over the course of the meeting, including many new members. The LES Annual Meeting is a great opportunity for those new to the field of licensing to get their feet wet with LES and get a taste of the education, personal development opportunities and networking we provide all year long. It was wonderful to see so many new faces!
This year’s event highlighted the dynamic nature of the licensing profession, with topics ranging from AI and 5G, to COVID 19 vaccinations, to Intellectual Capital Management and Industry-University collaboration. While many of our sessions attracted a high number of attendees, Russ Levine’s Top 10 Decisions in Licensing presentation, which shared an in-depth review of court decisions over the past year, was one of the week’s most popular sessions. Another event worth highlighting was the captivating keynote from Shaloo Garg, head of Microsoft’s startup operations, in which she shared her vision for ending the global digital divide.
Throughout the week, the meeting’s sessions offered ample learning opportunities on diverse topics like SEP licensing and litigation, brand management, IP valuation tools, M&A activity, professional development and more. Our attendees had unparalleled access to IP owners representing a wide range of companies and institutions, including Biogen, Columbia University, Deloitte, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, NASA-Johnson Space Center and the NFL Players Association, to name a few.
As always, the LES Annual Meeting also brought a transition in LES leadership. During the course of the week, Scott Williams, VP, Licensing & Technology Ventures at GE, assumed the role of President and Chair of the Board of LES USA-Canada. A long-time LES member and Board Director, Scott has taken over the presidential duties from Gillian Fenton, Special Counsel, Innovation and Government Collaborations at GSK, who held the position for the past year. We would like to personally thank Gillian for her dedication and service, and welcome Scott – congratulations on the new role!
Executing on an event of this magnitude and delivering this level of value is no small feat. We would like to thank the for their generosity. We also want to thank the 2021 Annual Meeting Planning Committee for its tireless work, as well as the LES Board for its vision and support. Finally, we want to thank the many LES members and volunteers who made this year’s Annual Meeting possible. Feedback from one meeting participant, a young lawyer from Canada, summed up the week well. She said her boss recommended the LES conference over a competing IP conference because LES is THE place you go to get the knowledge and education that will take you to the next level in your career. As long-time LES members, we couldn’t agree more!
We are excited to return to in-person events next year, and we hope to see you at the LES Annual Meeting in San Francisco, in October, 2022. Please take a minute to renew your LES membership here, and be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.