|Victoria A. Espinel|
Victoria Espinel official White House photo
|Born||Victoria Angelica Espinel
16 October 1968 
Richmond, Virginia, United States of America
|Occupation||Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator|
Victoria Angelica Espinel (born October 16, 1968) is the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the White House, housed in the Office of Management and Budget. She was appointed to the position by Barack Obama on September 25, 2009, and her appointment was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 3, 2009. Espinel is the first person to fill this position. She is responsible for the development and implementation of the President's overall strategy for the enforcement of intellectual property. Espinel has been referred to as the "IP Czar" by numerous media outlets including National Journal, TechDirt and Intellectual Property Watch
Victoria Espinel holds a Master of Law from the London School of Economics (earned in 1997), a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School (earned in 1992), and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (earned in 1989).
Before joining the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Espinel was with the law firms of Covington & Burling in London and Washington, D.C., and Sidley Austin in New York. She also served as an advisor to Romulus Global Issues Management and is a member of the Brain Trust of the Global Innovation Forum.
In 2001, Espinel joined the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as the senior counsel for intellectual property issues.
In 2005, Espinel was asked to serve as the first Assistant United States Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, creating the office of Intellectual Property and Innovation at USTR and serving as the chief U.S. trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation. While at USTR, she testified on numerous occasions before the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
From 2007 to 2009, Espinel was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the George Mason University School of Law. Her areas of teaching and research were intellectual property and international trade. While at George Mason, she acted as an advisor on intellectual property issues to the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Finance Committee, House Judiciary Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.
In 2009, Espinel founded Bridging the Innovation Divide, a not-for-profit foundation focused on addressing the "innovation divide" and empowering all Americans to obtain the full benefit of their creativity and ingenuity.
Work as IPEC
Espinel was confirmed as the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator on December 3, 2009. This new position was created by Congress through the PRO-IP Act (Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act) of 2008. A hearing to consider President Obama's nomination was held on November 4, 2009. On November 19, 2009, the Judiciary Committee ordered the nomination reported to the Senate for consideration. Espinel received eleven letters of in support of the nomination from related organizations including the MPAA, the Copyright Alliance, and the United States Chamber of Commerce. As the IPEC, Espinel has stated she has a singular objective: develop and implement a comprehensive, unified approach to IP enforcement for the U.S. government.
In June 2010, Espinel introduced the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement<ref/2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement </ref> In this report Espinel claims to have solicited more than 1,600 public comments and worked with numerous Federal agencies in the development of the plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of State, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Copyright Office. She identifies six actions the Federal government will take to enhance the protection of American intellectual property rights:
1. We will lead by example and will work to ensure that the Federal government does not purchase or use infringing products 2. We will support transparency in the development of enforcement policy, information sharing and reporting of law enforcement activities at home and abroad 3. We will improve coordination and thereby increase the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement efforts at the Federal, state and local level, of personnel stationed overseas and of the U S Government’s international training efforts 4. We will work with our trading partners and with international organizations to better enforce American intellectual property rights in the global economy 5. We will secure supply chains to stem the flow of infringing products at our borders and through enhanced cooperation with the private sector. We will improve data and information collection from intellectual property-related activity and continuously assess domestic and foreign laws and enforcement activities to maintain an open, fair and balanced environment for American intellectual property rightholders
Espinel's plan aims to improve coordination of law enforcement efforts at the Federal, state and local level, thereby heightening intellectual property regulation which is claimed to create jobs in related sectors. Espinel's plan also sets the groundwork for working with trading partners within international organizations to better enforce American intellectual property rights in the global economy. Finally, Espinel's plan aims to ensure intellectual property security over the internet by encouraging industries to work collaboratively to address unlawful cyberspace activity such as illicit filesharing and illicit online pharmaceutical sales.
Espinel's efforts have been largely supported by stakeholders including business trade associations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor unions including the AFL-CIO and consumer groups such as Public Knowledge. A report in Wired shows that new regulations were largely negotiated between various government agencies (including Ms. Espinel and her agency) and industry trade groups, with little or no public oversight, disclosure, or input from non-industry sources.
Issues of intellectual property protection are sometimes highly controversial, such as the Stop Online Piracy Act, which generated massive protests against SOPA and PIPA, including a temporary blackout by Wikipedia. Espinel waded into this issue with a blog post on January 14, 2012 and noted that "Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small" and that "[w]e must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet." SlashGear claimed that the response to the blog post, authored by "Obama's geeks" Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmidt "has been tentatively welcomed by privacy advocates, though it’s clear that this isn’t the outright dismissal of either SOPA or PIPA that many have hoped for."
- Victoria A. Espinel
- Library of Congress THOMAS database, record no. 111PN0102700
- Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
- National Journal's Tech Daily Dose, "Obama Taps Espinel for IP Czar Post", September 25, 2009 
- TechDirt, "Obama Finally AppointsIP Czar...Puts It In the Wrong Department", September 25, 2009 
- IP Watch, "Former USTR Official Nominated IP Czar", September 26, 2009
- Victoria A. Espinel to Join Faculty of George Mason University School of Law
- About the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC)
- Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator - Victoria Espine
- 2010 U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement 
- 2011 U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement 
- U.S. Chamber Lauds Progress Made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, February 7, 2011 
- Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on "Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus", April 11, 2012. 
- Public Knowledge Statement Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Report, March 15, 2011 
- Wired 14 Oct 2011, Copyright Czar Cozy w/ Content Industry, by David Kravets
- Obama Administration Responds to We the People Petitions on SOPA and Online Piracy 
- SlashGear, "Obama's geeks speak out on SOPA", January 14, 2012
- "US copyright czar resigns from White House for job at anti-piracy firm." (Archive) Russia Today. August 28, 2013. Retrieved on August 28, 2013.