Founder & Chief Executive
Ron Layton has combined successful careers in economic development and IP business to design the Light Years IP vision of engaging IP business techniques to reduce poverty and secure income for poor people through export trade in developing countries. Since forming LYIP as an NGO in 1999, Ron Layton has been creating mechanisms for poor producers in developing countries to improve the amount and security of export income from commodities and finished products. This process utilizes all forms of IP to assert the right to income from intangible values created and owned by poor countries. LYIP also assists with the products of innovation, including inventions, tribal names and all forms of designs, some traditional and mostly modern.
Ron’s has experience implementing projects in IP Value Capture opportunity in more than 20 African countries. The impact upon poverty has affected millions of African farmers and producers.
Ron has acted as IP consultant to producer groups, exporters and tribal groups, to businesses in fair trade and sustainable development, to the World Bank and the USPTO, and to Governments as different as Ethiopia, Niue and Bermuda. In 2004, the World Bank published a book titled "Poor People’s Knowledge" that included coverage of his work on IP and Poverty Alleviating Trade. In February 2004, Ron was elected as a Global Fellow by the Ashoka Foundation, recognition as a leading social entrepreneur working on a global level.
Ron is educated in economics and mathematics and worked as lead economist on numerous development projects in more than 20 developing countries for UNDP, ADAB, SPC, the Commonwealth and many governments. He has specialized in Intellectual Property for 25 years and in Intellectual Property for Development for 15 of those years. He began in 1977-80, originating and implementing jurisdictional Intellectual Property solutions in developing countries with very limited and weak economies. He led a project covering analysis and development of jurisdictional Intellectual Property sector in several countries where IP produced over 60% of government income and over 80% of export income. To acquire direct understanding of the role of branding and other Intellectual Property in Trade, he added ten years of commercial experience in earning export income, successfully distributing film product and derivative consumer products to over 100 world markets.