Intellectual Property

Obama Names First 'IP Czar'

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President Barack Obama named Victoria Espinel as the first U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator on Friday.

The Senate confirmed Espinel late Thursday, according to the National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose blog.

Espinel has most recently served as founder and president of the nonprofit Bridging the Information Divide, and she was a visiting law professor at George Mason University from 2007-2009, focusing on intellectual property and international trade, according to a biography on the White House website. She has also advised senate and house committees on intellectual property, and in 2005 she became the first Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In that position, she was the chief U.S. trade negotiator for IP and innovation.

Prior to that, she worked at Covington & Burling in London and Washington, D.C., and at Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in New York City.

Entertainment industry representatives hailed the appointment, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Let’s hope that today represents the high-water mark of IP theft,” said Rick Cotton, executive VP and general counsel at NBC Universal. He said Espinel’s confirmation “should help to see the tide begin to recede under the pressure of the Obama administration’s commitment to protecting IP, producing new jobs and new industries that will benefit the nation for decades to come.”

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