Danny Marti, managing partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Washington, D.C., office, is the Obama administration’s pick as the next intellectual property “czar,” the White House said Thursday. The announcement drew praise from the technology and recording industries.
If confirmed, Marti, once cochairman of Kilpatrick Townsend’s intellectual asset acquisitions and transactions team, would become the second Senate-confirmed IP enforcement coordinator. Victoria Espinel stepped down in August 2013 to become president and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance. After Espinel’s departure, Howard Shelanski, administrator of the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, assumed her duties, helping bridge the gap between the public and private sectors on IP protection in the absence of a confirmed IP enforcement coordinator.
Espinel, whose group’s members include Apple Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Microsoft Corp., said in a statement that she wishes Marti “the best of luck and all success” as IP enforcement coordinator.
“I can say from personal experience that it is tremendously gratifying to be challenged with developing and implementing a strategy to serve the best interests of the American people,” she said. “My only piece of unsolicited advice is to choose a staff that is as outstanding and dedicated as the colleagues I had the great pleasure of serving with.”
The Information Technology Industry Council, ACT | The App Association and the Recording Industry Association of America also welcomed Marti’s nomination. “With a career dedicated to supporting intellectual property, Mr. Marti recognizes its incredible contribution to the U.S. economy,” Morgan Reed, ACT’s executive director, said in a statement.
Marti, who joined Kilpatrick Townsend in 2001, took the reins of the firm’s D.C. office in 2013, becoming the first Hispanic to lead a Kilpatrick Townsend office. At the firm, he has represented clients on IP protection and enforcement and management at federal courts, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Before coming to Kilpatrick Townsend, Marti was at Lott & Friedland, now known as Lott & Fischer.
“The White House has made a great choice in Danny,” Kilpatrick Townsend Chairman Henry Walker said in a statement. “The entire firm congratulates him on this outstanding honor.”