I just finished three days attending the LES Asia Pacific Regional Conference chaired by Audrey Yap, President of LES Singapore. Attendance was strong and, although largely from the region, there was notable participation from Europe and the Americas.
The theme of the conference was “Emerging IP Deals and Opportunities in Asia” and it did not disappoint. Between the plenary program and workshops, the conference offered a nice blend of expert vision and practical examples. Assessment of the current IP landscape in China and Japan was both insightful and even-handed, thanks to presentations by Alfred Kwok, President of China IP International Services and Hitoshi Yoshino, Managing Director of Japan IP Network.
Here again, the Licensing Executives Society (LES) furthered its working partnership with WIPO as Ignacio de Castro, Deputy Director, WIPO Arbitration & Media Center, first presented the results of the WIPO survey on dispute resolution in technology transactions and later joined a panel including several regional experts on conflict resolution in patent disputes.
On the later panel Russell Levine, LES USA & Canada, detailed the significant extent to which U.S. judges are pushing Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve patent cases. If you have never seen one of Russell’s workshops, they are a must see.
As an IP valuation expert and market-maker by profession, I found my way to two workshops directly on point including:
- A discussion of advanced valuation techniques presented by Dr. Alex Yu, Founder & Chief Knowledge Strategist for K-Strategian, LLP
- A presentation of essential tools for IP marketing as described by Dr. Sze Tiam Lin, Director of IPI Limited
Both Dr. Yu and Dr. Lin referenced Ocean Tomo market development in their prepared materials which was flattering to see my firm’s work integrated into such training materials globally.
Like all LES events, the value from attendance comes not only in what is presented at the front of the room, but also the networking quality with fellow registrants.
The meeting committee including Audrey Yap, Karol Goh and George Hwang did a great job of assembling a who’s-who crowd for the region. I personally had the chance to meet and spend meaningful time with BG Tan Yih San, Chief Executive and Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, as well as Jason Chen, Director of the Intellectual Property Division for the Singapore Ministry of Law. Both BG Tan Yih San and Director Chen shared their vision and efforts for establishing Singapore as the Asian center for IP market development.
My observations tell me there is a meaningful race developing between Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen) to anchor the third leg of the intellectual triangle alongside the U.S. and Europe.
Abu Dhabi, however, could be the surprise victor given their laser focused vision and willingness to commit resources, see my prior blog post regarding my visit to the World Economic Forum Global Action Council on IP.
Are Japan, Korea, Taiwan and India next to be added to this list?
I believe this dynamic will play out quickly, and by this time next year, a clear leader will emerge. I feel fortunate to have a front row seat as the market forms and I take great pride knowing LES is in the middle of it all.
Image: © LESI