Monday, July 27, 2009 Espinel remains IP czar favorite reports that Victoria Espinel remains the frontrunner for the job as the first-ever White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator -- better known as the "IP czar":

Getting the IP enforcement coordinator in place has proven even more difficult despite the fact that the top candidate has been known for months. Victoria Espinel, who served as the first assistant trade representative for IP, a position created by former Trade Representative Susan Schwab in 2006, is ready to report for duty, sources said. The dilemma has been where to put her.

Unlike the cyber czar, the IP coordinator is a Senate-confirmed post, and White House Chief of Staff Emanuel has reportedly ruled out placement within the Domestic Policy Council, National Economic Council or National Security Council. The remaining options are establishing a stand-alone office or having the official housed within the USTR, OMB or Office of Science and Technology Policy -- and each could pose problems.

The IP zar slot was created by the PRO-IP Act, which was enacted last year with overwhelming bi-partisant support and signed into law by then-President Bush. During the 2008 campaign, Candidate Obama complained that "President Bush has failed to address the fact that...China fails to enforce U.S. copyrights and trademarks" and promised that "Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to ensure intellectual property is protected in foreign markets, and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere." Yet more than six months in to the Obama Administration, still no IP czar.


  1. The last thing anyone needs now is an "IP Czar." The position should remain unfilled - or the operative provisions in the PRO-IP Act should be repealed.

  2. This is a strange article. Prior to the report, I haven't seen any conclusive statement that Espinel was the selection. You wonder if this is a leak from industry folk trying to move the process along and pin the administration down on a candidate; or if it's just the administration floating the name to make sure that they didn't miss anything in vetting.


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