Global Intellectual Property Center

Groups Hail Nomination Of IP Coordinator

Groups Hail Nomination Of IP Coordinator

When President Obama tapped George Mason University professor Victoria Espinel as the first White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator Friday, lawmakers and industry stakeholders let out a collective sigh of relief. The announcement was months in the making, and Espinel, who previously served as assistant trade representative for IP, had been considered the top candidate for the job for some time.
One reason for the delay was that administration officials were conflicted over where to put the IP czar. Eventually they settled on OMB, after ruling out the Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council, USTR and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, sources familiar with the process said.

OMB oversees strategic planning, interagency coordination and budgeting, and it is seen as a successful coordinator of programs that span multiple agencies.

The fact that Espinel, who is expected to easily win Senate confirmation, would land at OMB is ironic, since that is where 2005 legislation offered by Sens. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, placed the head of a proposed IP enforcement network. At the time, the idea was panned by critics, who thought OMB would be a peculiar locale for the post.