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Michael Connor, Past President of LES B&I

Michael Connor, one of the longest serving members of LES Britain & Ireland Council and a past president, died recently.  He retired from council in 2004.

His background as a patent attorney and founder of BT’s commercially motivated intellectual property department brought valued skills and professional influence to LES. Having previously worked at GEC, Phillips/Mullard, Sperry/Univac and Ultra Electronics, Michael began, in 1969, his 21 year career with the Post Office, and BT as it later became. In a presentation on “Running a Large Corporate Intellectual Property Department” in 1992, he recalled how an initially small IP department, in which he was the only qualified attorney, grew to more than seventy people with about half professionally qualified. He was closely involved with licensing discussions there, and early on recognised the importance of psychological analysis of the negotiators for the other party.

He advised the BBC on the content of a series on innovation and worked with the UK Patent Office on the licensing module of their innovative disk-based IP training course.  He organised LES licensing courses and was a regular lecturer on the IP courses for R&D Managers organised by Richard Reeves at Cranfield. He was a member of the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and chaired the IPR Committee of the Confederation of British Industry.

He leaves a son and two daughters to whom we extend our condolences.