March 2019

President’s Message

François PainchaudBy François Painchaud, President, LES International

Dear Friends,

First, I am glad to share that, at the occasion of the Winter Planning Meeting in Miami earlier in January, we were able to organise the signing ceremony of our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with President Antonio Campinos of the European Patent Office (EPO) who joined us in Miami. It was quite meaningful to us, considering that Peter Hess championed strengthening this partnership between both of our organizations:

"At LES International, we are always looking to facilitate the interactions of people and organizations that will make innovation useful in a global and connected world; this agreement with the European Patent Office reinforces the collaboration between our organizations and will benefit education and the dissemination of knowledge in the business of innovations and intellectual property, primarily within small and medium-sized enterprises where it is often needed."

We have begun our work to support each other and to enhance joint efforts especially in education and in collaborating with other IP emerging issues. We are also working with the EPO to contribute important insights on the renewal of their five-year strategic plan. We are confident that this combined leadership will make a lasting impact on the LES community in Europe and globally around the world. Please do not hesitate to click here to reach our website for a more in-depth analysis of the perceived benefits of the MoU.

The Long-Range Planning Committee have in hand two key elements that will help us make a difference in better communications. They are (i) taking the steps to develop a digital communication guide in collaboration with the Communications Committee and (ii) they are focussing on the integration of new members in the global family. They will report on their work at the International Delegates Meeting in Yokohama in May.

I would also like to point out that last February, we launched our first National President's and International Delegates E-mail that deals specifically with common issues and action items that arise on a regular basis either on LESI matters of more local or regional matters. Hopefully this enhanced communication will facilitate further exchanges of information and give a more vibrant note to our collective work that usually culminates at the International Delegates Meeting.

With respect to my travels, I was quite active since my last report with a travel to LES Thailand, where we discussed IP licensing standards and Thai practice. I was also introduced to the Thailand Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA). While the DIP is responsible for policy development and registration of intellectual property rights, DEPA, through the 2017 Digital and Society Economy Act, is responsible for intellectual property law and policy updates to foster greater innovation in the digital industry. LES Thailand is a Member of DEPA's Working Group of experts in the area of digital innovations and intellectual property from public, private and academic sectors.

Then, I assisted to the LES Asia Pacific Regional Conference in organising a two-day program with plenary sessions, panel discussions and a business plan competition for start-ups. The theme of the conference was "IP Drives the Bottom Line," putting in the front-line innovation as one of the most important driving forces for sustainable long-term growth. Eminent speakers detailed how, by creating a comprehensive IP ecosystem, IP opens opportunities for public and private players.

I also attended the LES China Annual Conference in Beijing and the LES Benelux—LES China—LESI training course. This year's training course attracted more than 140 participants from all over China. The training course was a great success with support from Educational Committee of LESI and LES Benelux. Our meetings with CNIPA and the Vice Chief Judge LIN, Guanghai, Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Supreme Court were significant for establishing a connection with the two organizations.

Also in December 2018, I was able to make a final trip to both LES France and LES Italy. LES France's Annual Meeting took place in Paris, under the topic "Licensing 2018 News." We discussed Biotech-Pharma partnerships between China and Europe, as well as IP and energy transition and Patents and Trade secrets from the Silicon Valley Perspective. With LES Italy I took part in the Executive Committee Meeting. We had an interesting discussion on the initial planning of the LESI Annual Meeting planned for 2022.

We also rely on you to bring us all to the next level. You can write directly to me at


François Painchaud