March 10, 2015

Senate Confirms Critical IP Appointments

By Brian Noyes

Two years ago we commented on vacancies within the Administration related to intellectual property (IP) policies and protections. It has taken a while, but on Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed appointments for two of the remaining positions.  Michelle Lee now heads the USPTO and has public policy challenges ahead in addressing both patent quality and patent litigation reforms. We appreciate this step and look forward to working with Director Lee.

The IP industry also made particular note of another lesser known, but critically important role which, was confirmed at the same time. Danny Marti will serve as the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), a position within the highest levels of U. S. government, actually in the White House, charged with coordinating the work of the federal agencies responsible for IP enforcement and developing a strategy to reduce IP theft and enhance enforcement. IPEC is vital to all IP intensive industries.

Regarding the confirmation, GIPC President and CEO David Hirschmann said:

“IP industries drive innovation, develop life-saving medicines and products, and delight consumers with creative works and new technologies that enrich lives throughout the world. Filling this critically important role will help our nation maintain its competitive edge in the global economy and drive economic growth and job creation from these innovative industries. We applaud Danny Marti on his confirmation and stand ready to work with him in the coming months.”

However, this is a moment long overdue. Resources are limited and only with significant prioritization of IP enforcement from the White House will we see progress. It takes a great deal of time and commitment. Industry stands ready to help Mr. Marti make strides in improving these efforts.

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