Law Students Meet White House IP Czar

Law Students Meet White House IP Czar
Lynn Safranek
Law School Office of Communications
October 15, 2010

Chicago Law students gained firsthand insight into the U.S. government's intellectual property strategies when the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator recently visited the Law School for a town hall meeting.

Victoria Espinel is the first person to hold the post of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, informally known as the IP Czar, a position created by Congress in 2008 with the passage of the PRO-IP Act. Before her confirmation in 2009, Espinel was a law professor at George Mason Law School and previously had served in the the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as the chief U.S. trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation.

In her town hall meeting at the Law School, Espinel described her office's duties and objectives, which include coordinating intellectual property policies across federal government agencies, creating a data-driven model to measure the economic contribution of IP-intensive business sectors, and protecting American business interests in overseas markets, particular in China. This last initiative, she said, is critical to President Obama's goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years.

Students interested in intellectual property issues, including members of the Intellectual Property Law Society, questioned Espinel about the office's staying power, its motivations, and its take on recent int