Victoria Espinel, President Obama's "IP Czar," has stepped down from her role four years after she was confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator.
Until the President nominates a successor who is confirmed by the Senate, Howard Shelanski, the administrator of the office of information and regulatory affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, will serve as acting IP coordinator.
Espinel's position had been created by the Pro-IP Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008. The position was intended to serve as a liaison and coordinator for the wide variety of federal, state and local agencies involved in intellectual property matters.
Espinel's efforts to improve coordination of law enforcement efforts and private-public partnerships were uniformly lauded by stakeholders including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and consumer groups. In the most recent 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, Espinel had been a proponent of strengthening IP enforcement through international coordination and encouraging "best practices" by intermediaries such as search engines, advertisers and payment processors.