Attending the LES University - Strategic Licensing: Advanced Tools and Practices

Attending the LES University - Strategic Licensing: Advanced Tools and Practices

Aug 16, 2013

I recently attended the Licensing Executives Society (LES) University course on Strategic Licensing: Advanced Tools and Practices. Esteemed peers from the US and Canada, case studies with twists and turns, and an experienced roster of instructors made for a very interesting and informative week – despite 8 hours a day in a windowless room!

LES is an international association of members with an interest in the transfer of technology, or licensing of intellectual property rights - from technical know-how and patented inventions to software, copyrights and trademarks. The organization offers a number of different educational opportunities, and I attended a follow-up course to a Masters Class in Principles and Practices that I completed in 2006.  The overall theme was to examine strategic licensing in the broader context of business development and company-wide intellectual asset management.

During the 4-day course, fellow attendees and I listened to lecture material, discussed best practices, exchanged experiences, and navigated case studies. We covered topics that included legal issues, licensing issues, intellectual asset strategy, valuation, negotiation, and ethics.

One of the most interesting aspects of LES is that members come from a wide-variety of professional settings and expertise: for example, industry/university/government; consumer products/high technology/biomedical/electronics/copyright/telecommunications/chemicals/energy; attorneys/business development managers/scientists/licensing professionals. As I experienced first-hand during one of the case studies, I worked with a team comprising representatives from consumer goods, aerospace, software, and biotech companies. The result was a multi-layered analysis that none of us could have accomplished on our own.

Another fascinating aspect was the use of case studies over 3 days, with examination of different elements each day. Based on the assumptions made on Day 1, the outcomes by Day 3 were quite diverse, fairly informed, and challenging to negotiate during a mock exercise because some of the outcomes had become so divergent over time.

It was a wonderful opportunity to network with a dynamic group, apply my 7+ years of tech transfer and licensing experiences, and even enjoy a little time in Chicago.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or to find out how a wayward PhD made tech transfer a career. I can be reached at


Photo of Chicago architecture taken by Maria Emanuel, July 2013.

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