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Obama Nominates Espinel as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC)
At the end of September, the Obama administration nominated Victoria Espinel to the position of the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. The position was created under the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (Pro-IP Act – clever, huh?) which was signed into law by former President Bush despite his administration’s opposition to the position. The IPEC provides guidance and strategic plans to federal agencies combating IP infringement by chairing an advisory committee comprised of theses agencies, which include the Office of Management and Budget, the Justice Department, the Commerce Department, the US Copyright Office and the Office of the US Trade Representative. The IPEC has no formal power to control or implement how the agencies investigate, prosecute or manage IP cases.
Victoria Espinel, a former Visiting Assistant Professor in intellectual property and international trade at the George Mason University School of Law and the founder and President of the non-profit Bridging the Innovation Divide organization. Espinel has acted as an intellectual property advisor to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Finance Committee, House Judiciary Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. According to a White House press release, prior to her work with the U.S. Government, she was in private practice with Covington & Burling in London and D.C. and Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in New York. Espinel received her LL.M from LSE and J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.
Mark Esper, a vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated that Espinel’s nomination “is a positive development towards fully implementing and funding the Pro-IP Act, and we hope President Obama and Congress will continue this important work by ensuring Victoria has the resources and authority necessary to get the job done.”