Who Will Advise Obama On IP? Let The Name Games Begin 06/11/2008 by Liza Porteus Viana, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Liza Porteus for Intellectual Property Watch with William New There are many questions as to what the President Barack Obama administration will look like – with no shortage of players participating in the Washington parlour game right now. The US and the world will cast a watchful eye on whom Obama chooses to advise him on copyright, trade, innovation, patent reform, and other topics. “We look forward to working with the new administration to continue the agency’s work in protecting the interests of US intellectual property rights holders,” US Patent and Trademark Office spokeswoman Jennifer Rankin Byrne told Intellectual Property Watch. “We welcome the members of the transition team and we’ll do everything possible to ensure a seamless transition.” IP and technology experts such as Duke University law professor Arti Rai, former Federal Communications Chairman Reed Hundt, and MIT computer scientist Daniel Weitzner have been part of Obama’s inner campaign circle, according to sources. Other names that have been associated with discussions of IP, technology and privacy during the campaign include: former American Intellectual Property Law Association President Jim Pooley, who has been working with the Obama campaign; Chris Sprigman, associate IP law professor at University of Virginia Law School; Beth Noveck, New York Law School professor and creator of the Peer-to-Patent pilot being operated by the school; Thomas Kalil, special assistant to the chancellor for science and technology at the University of California at Berkeley; Andrew McLaughlin, Head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google; and Peter Swire, a part-time senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Clinton Administration chief counselor for privacy, an Obama privacy and security advisor, according to sources. John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and current president of the Center for American Progress, is heading up Obama’s transition team. He previously served as chief minority counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks. According the Obama campaign, members of Obama’s transition team advisory board will include: Julius Genachowski, who was one of Obama’s technology advisers; Level 3 Communications Official Donald Gips; former Clinton Commerce Secretary William Daley; and Sonal Shah of Google.org. Another name associated with Obama’s IP advisors is Stanford University law professor Larry Lessig, who started the Creative Commons movement. Lessig earlier had supporters urging him to run for Congress in this election. A publishing industry representative in Geneva said, “I have not heard of anybody in the publishing industry who wasn’t excited about Obama’s election,” but, “clearly Lessig has extreme views” on IP issues. However, Sisule Musungu of Geneva-based IQsensato said Lessig’s input to the campaign is an encouraging sign that Obama knows which experts he can benefit from most. But Lessig said Wednesday he has not had much contact with the campaign. “I have not advised the campaign on intellectual property issues. I advised them during the primary on technology issues,” Lessig told Intellectual Property Watch. “I don’t expect there will be a fundamental change in IP policy, unfortunately, but of course I believe there will be a strong press to realise change.” Key posts to be filled include head of the USPTO, US trade representative, Commerce secretary and FCC chairman. The FCC chief would oversee any internet build-out, as well as any internet neutrality initiatives. Obama “has a very favourable telecom policy agenda, including Net Neutrality and an open internet,” said Public Knowledge spokesman Art Brodsky. Some reports say that in Washington and Silicon Valley some are already wondering who will be the nation’s first chief technology officer – a position Obama wants to create. Some options include Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the “father of the internet,” Vint Cerf. There’s also Hundt. And there’s the IP tsar that was created recently by President Bush signing bill S 3325, which creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) within the Executive Office of the President to coordinate the US’ domestic and international intellectual property enforcement activities. “We are optimistic that many of Obama’s first round of appointments will be very capable, and open to innovative approaches to policy challenges. Obama will also likely make some less impressive appointments,” James Love of Knowledge Ecology International wrote in his blog. “Taken together, these appointments will have enormous policy consequences.” Kaitlin Mara contributed to this report. The authors may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Who Will Advise Obama On IP? Let The Name Games Begin" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.