It is an honour and privilege to be elected as President at the last AGM held on 17 May 2017. LES Singapore has been formed 18 years ago, as Licensing Society (Singapore). 18 is an age when we are considered as major in many countries. In Singapore, you can own a business and be a director of a company. As such, LES Singapore is a society which has come of age.
Firstly, I would like to introduce the executive committee (Exco) for this term. They include past presidents – Suresh Sachi, Audrey Yap, Sheena Jacob and Chiew Yu Sarn; and newbies Lionel Tan and Chai Ming Jie. Other members are Sharon Chiang, Mohan Das and Richard Hung.
It is a privilege to have them as Exco members. Each bring with them a wealth of experience.
LES Singapore’s Relevance to the Current Economy
Just before the turn of the century, in 1999, LES Singapore was formed. Its mandate was to promote the commercialisation and management of Intellectual Property (IP). That was the time when we barely stepped into the age of information society.
Today, in the age of disruptive technologies and artificial intelligence, it is even more relevant. To prevent expensive litigation such as the “Apple v Samsung” saga, IP owners are resorting to concepts such as cross-licensing and patent pooling. The amount of patents which impact on a smartphone makes it impossible for a producer to work alone. Other companies are discovering that they are sitting on IP or assets which, though not useful to themselves, can be monetized. Texas Instruments, IBM and Microsoft are but a few examples.
Closer home, this year is the fourth year since the government launched the IP Hub Master Plan. This 10 year blueprint has been updated. Over the next 5 years, $1.5 billion will be injected into the economy. The amount of IP professionals is estimated to double to 1,000. We hope to attract some of them into LES Singapore.
Plans and Activities for 2017/18
The following are the activities which we have planned for the year:
Two networking events;
At least two talks;
Conducting our flagship course, Basic Licensing Course, in collaboration with IP Academy; and
Preparation for 20th anniversary celebration in 2019
There are also other activities but it is dependent on LESI and/or the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee’s decision.
As we would like to encourage more participation from members, we are forming two sub-committees. They are:
Education and Training; and
Also, the sub-committees, being working committees, have the advantage of lasting longer than the executive committee which needs to be elected every May.
Ms Sharon Chiang has kindly agreed to lead the Education and Training Committee and Vice-President Sheena Jacob shall be leading the Events Committee, as she has so ably done for the last two years. If any of you wishes to take care of these two committees, please either contact them, directly, or myself.
“Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2017!”
LES Singapore President