Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sydnor on IP Czar nomiee Espinel: 'widely respected...hard-working, substantive, pragmatic and sensible'

Tom Sydnor of the Progress & Freedom Foundation has one of the most substantive takes I've read on IP Czar nominee Victoria Espinel, and the position she will assume if confirmed. Sydnor is a big fan:
Personally, I conclude that President Obama selected an excellent nominee. Indeed, I can't think of anyone better endowed with the experience, expertise, and judgment needed to be a successful Coordinator.
[A]n ideal nominee for the role of IP Coordinator would possess (1) deep familiarity with the various agencies and personnel now involved in aspects of intellectual property law and policy; (2) proven and widely respected expertise and judgment, and (3) close connections to USTR.

From personal experience, I can report that President Obama's nominee for IP Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, satisfies all three criteria. During the last Administration, I served as an advisor on copyright law and policy in USPTO's Office of International Relations. Because much of my work involved either our always colorful IP relations with China or the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, I often worked closely with the excellent IPR team at USTR.

The leader of USTR's IP-related efforts was the Assistant United States Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation, Victoria Espinel. She was very widely respected because she was hard-working, substantive, pragmatic and sensible--she could analyze details with the best of the experts and then explain their implications in plain terms to politicians and foreign officials.

Espinel's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is set for 2:00 p.m. EST tomorrow; the committee's web site indicates that the hearing will be webcast.

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