There’s no question that LES has a huge amount to offer IP and licensing professionals of any age. From our survey reports, to our ANSI-accredited standards development programs, to our numerous education, mentorship and networking opportunities, LES delivers world class benefits to our members—no matter where they are in their careers. But for those just starting out in the world of IP and licensing, the advantages that LES provides are truly immeasurable and can have a profound impact on career development.

While on-the-job experience is important, especially for those new to the field, well-rounded industry education and exposure extends beyond the office walls. The opportunities provided by industry associations offer tremendous value in terms of mentorship, networking and education, often delivering a more well-rounded experience than what is found at work.

Choosing the Right Organization

So how do you know what groups will deliver the right value for you? The truth is, there are a lot of IP associations out there, and young professionals may be unsure about which ones to join. LES is the only organization focused on the business aspects of intellectual property. While other groups focus on legislation or are limited to specific industries, LES sets itself apart by bringing representatives across diverse groups together to discuss the business impact of licensing deals, giving young IP professionals the full view of what it means to get IP protection and work to monetize it.

Another great advantage that LES provides is local, regional and international access. As a member of LES, you have access not only to your local chapter, but to all chapters across the US and Canada. Additionally, LES membership automatically includes membership to LES International (LESI), which enhances exposure to LESI groups and meetings all over the world. For young members who have the budget and time for only one industry group, there is no better value.

The Young Members Congress

In 2018, LES USA and Canada launched its Young Members Congress (YMC) Committee, a group within the society specifically devoted to the professional growth and development of IP and licensing professionals under the age of 40 (or for those who are young-at-heart!). As the first Chair of the LES USA and Canada YMC Committee, I was honored to help launch the group and am proud of how it has evolved. The YMC is the place for young people to join, get involved and begin building their networks early in their careers. One of the things I love most about LES is that the society as a whole welcomes ideas from young members and listens to their voices. Young members are the future of the society, their input is treated with respect and they are given ample opportunity to grow and lead, in the YMC and beyond.

Every year, there are dedicated LESI YMC events for young members across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Under normal circumstances, these meetings are held in-person and include some memorable, high-energy networking events (think dinner cruise with a circus show and DJ). We hope to get back there soon, but out of caution for the health of our members we’ve opted to hold this year’s Pan-American YMC Conference virtually, on June 18, 2021 from 1pm-4pm ET. This year, we’re pleased to share that the conference is FREE to all attendees! So, whether you’re new to LES or curious about joining, this is a great opportunity for you to get a feel for all the society has to offer. Our three-hour program includes an hour of networking as well as two panels:

  • Issues with Global SEP and FRAND licensing
  • Successful Licensing and Implementation of AI-related Technologies

I encourage all young IP and licensing professionals to join us for these sessions to learn more about LES, to better understand the benefits and experience first-hand a taste of our culture and what we offer our young members. See below for details, and be sure to spread the word! We hope to see you there.

What: Virtual Pan-American LESI YMC Conference
When: June 18, 2021 from 1-4pm ET

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About the Author

Vincent Bergeron, LES USA and Canada Board Member and Partner at ROBIC, L.L.P

Vincent Bergeron is a Partner, Lawyer and Trademark agent with ROBIC, a Canadian firm focused on intellectual property, where he is the Leader of the national Emerging Technologies Group.

He specializes in the international protection, defense and commercialization of intellectual property assets related to information technology, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, software, video games, internet of things, virtual reality and other emerging technologies.

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