From our President - Sue Muggleston

As we wrap up our momentous 50th Anniversary Conference, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating this significant milestone. Although circumstances prevented me from attending in person, I was with you all in spirit, sharing in the excitement and camaraderie that only a LESANZ gathering can offer.

This year marks not only a half-century of innovation and leadership in the field of intellectual property commercialisation but also reflects the vibrant community we've built together. Our association's strength lies in its diversity and the shared commitment to fostering expertise and success in all our professional endeavours.

It was a privilege to acknowledge the contributions of past presidents and members who have shaped LESANZ over the decades. Their legacy and the ongoing efforts of our current members ensure that our association will continue to thrive and lead for the next 50 years.  Congratulations to John Walker, who was bestowed with the 4th Honorary membership for his continuous commitment to the Society over many decades.  We also celebrated a cheeky "Legend" award to Rob McInnes for his ongoing service including more recently on the 2024 Sydney conference Committee.  Both were awarded their gongs at the Gala dinner aboard The Jackson (pictured below). 

The conference itself stood as a profound testament to the hard work and dedication of many, especially underscored by the collective efforts of the Conference Organising Committee. Working alongside Anna Grocholsky, Roz Murray, Mark Pullen, Jason Sprague, Rob McInnes, and our indispensable Secretariat, Beth Benson, was a true pleasure. Their relentless dedication to crafting an enriching programme transformed this gathering from a mere celebration into a pinnacle of professional development and networking.

As we look forward, let us carry the spirit of this 50th Anniversary with us – embracing innovation, upskilling, and above all, maintaining the warm, inclusive ethos that makes LESANZ unique. In our sights is the full iteration of the Mentoring program, after a very successful pilot concluded.  Applications will be requested shortly and as each Region celebrates the 50th Anniversary, please take a moment to share in celebrations and join your fellow members to toast our 50 years of excellence!

Warm regards, Sue 

FULL Conference REport

LESANZ Lights Up Innovation: A Kaleidoscope of 50 years of IP Brilliance!

A Week of Wows! As we wrap up another successful annual conference for LESANZ Inc, our brains are buzzing with the new insights and strategies shared during the "Workshop Wednesday" and Conference Days. Here are the highlights, and our reflections!

Workshop Wednesday Wonders Kicking off with "What, why, and how of a Licence Agreement", hosted by sponsors King & Wood Mallesons, our experience speaking panel lead by LESANZ Vice-President, Catherine Boxhall and supported by Secretary, Chris Wilkinson and NSW Committee member, Helen Brown transformed complex jargon into practical examples for structuring, negotiation, and drafting – using useful examples and team exercises to reinforce the learnings for our group. 

50 Glorious Years – Our Welcome hosted by FB Rice: This traditional evening function sets the scene and enables members to re-connect or meet those who will be sharing the next few days with them.   The Little National Hotel rooftop was abuzz not just with the clinking of glasses, but also conversation and energy of our thriving LESANZ community.  Highlight; so many familiar faces from many decades on a superb balmy evening in Sydney amongst the city skyscrapers and the tranquil setting 

Day 1: IP's Glistening Future and Clean Tech Conundrums From the profound insights of Melissa Clark-Reynolds, who painted a future of IP and posed many interesting prospects to launch the theme and the professional sector of the main conference.  

Followed by……to the dynamic discourse on Clean Tech, where green was the new gold, the day was packed with back-to-back enlightenment.

Funding Fantasies and Gaming Gambits The afternoon sessions turned up the dial on engagement with robust discussions on funding - or as we like to call it, "The Art of Turning Ideas into Gold". The Gaming IP Case Studies later added a high score to our day, zoning in on winning and losing strategies around commercialisation of modern games in the changing landscape of how we play.

Gala Dinner aboard The Jackson – Super Yacht didn’t disappoint.  Delegates were treated to the scenic beauty of Sydney Harbour on a magical summer’s evening.  The sophistication of the yacht and the celebratory atmosphere was a highlight for many over the 3 days.  During the evening, Past Presidents in attendance were applauded and two members were celebrated for their contributions.  

Rob McInnes, past President and conference committee member, was awarded with the first “LESANZ Legend” award for his ongoing support, not only as a current Mentor but generally when called upon by LESANZ, without hesitation steps up to teach, represent and share the wealth of his knowledge.  Thank you, Rob!  

The spotlight was then on John Walker, who became the Societies 4th Life Member. John’s unparalleled dedication and service to LESANZ Inc. have been nothing short of legendary. His contributions have not only propelled us forward but have also woven a richer tapestry of knowledge, connection, and advancement within our community.  Congratulations John!

Day 2: Commercialisation Chronicles and International Women's Day inspiration; With a hearty Tea & Toast networking breakfast fuelling our bodies and brains, delegates dived into the diverse journeys of IP commercialisation – proving that no two paths are alike, except in their hurdles and triumphs.  Sharing their founders pathway, Kate Lewkowski from Neurotogix and Matt Hill from Hypersonix Launch Systems provided some real-life examples of challenges of the role of a founder and how to straddle the various aspects of modern day business, finance, staff management all through an IP lense.

Licensing Review and a Toast to Women in IP Our midday was marked by a "Licensing Year in Review", a traditional 12-month staple in the IP Calendar, presented by the brilliant Scott Bouvier.  Scott’s wealth of knowledge never fails to unleash the challenging world of Licensing and tips to avoid the troubled waters of agreements.

IWD 2024 was appropriately celebrated with a blend of reflection and foresight from our LESANZ alumni and brilliant women who shared their varied experiences and career journeys from all facets within the IP Industry.  The International Women's Day IP Panel, represented by past President, Anne Trimmer.  Deputy Dir. General of IP Australia, Margaret Tregurtha, Kate Lewkowski, Founder of Neurotologix and Kristen Migliorini, CEO and Founder of KomplyAi.   Takeaways were: there is still notable imbalances around diversity in the IP and commercialisation sector (career path, access to funding), however doing things before you think you are 100% ready can help to break down the barriers.  Success in business is not just about being able to raise capital, growing and utilising your network and asking for help can help to launch you forward in unexpected ways; you can utilise your fear of risk to make you better prepared for the risky action; think carefully about your IP strategy and how your registered IP/patents will translate to commercialised inventions. 

Conclusion: A Toast to Innovation and Inclusion As we closed our event with cheers and soft adieus at Shell House’s very funky Sky Bar, it was clear that while the program might be subject to change each year, our commitment to innovation and inclusion remains as steadfast as ever.  As we strive for another 50 years of serving our members by continuing the genuine connections and warmth this organisation retains as its focus.

LESANZ thanks all who participated and assisted in putting this major event together and to those companies who financially supported this year including: