Obama IP Czar Heads To The Hill

Former U.S. Assistant Trade Representative Victoria Espinel who was tapped in September by President Obama to serve as the first White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Espinel, who taught at George Mason University after leaving USTR in the Bush administration, is expected to easily win approval of the panel, which is considering an appeals court judge and several district judges the same day.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy received letters in support of Espinel’s nomination from a range of stakeholders including the Copyright Alliance, National Music Publishers’ Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, International Trademark Association, Motion Picture Association of America, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others.

The Chamber called Espinel’s confirmation “an important step towards fulfilling the promise of the PRO-IP Act,” an IP enforcement bill that Congress passed and Bush signed into law last year. MPAA Chairman Dan Glickman called her an “excellent choice” for the office and said his experience with her at USTR was top notch. AIPLA hailed her “impressive and substantive background.”

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