Obama nominates new intellectual property chief

President Obama nominated a longtime trademark and copyright lawyer to be the White House's new intellectual property enforcement officer.

The White House announced on Thursday evening that Danny Marti was the president’s nominee for the post, which is tasked with coordinating ways to protect intellectual property with companies and other government officials.

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Marti, who is currently a managing partner at the Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton law firm in Washington, was greeted warmly by industry groups when his name was announced on Thursday.

The head of the Entertainment Software Association, which represents the video game industry, said that Marti has “dedicated his career to the protection of intellectual property” and congratulated him on the nomination.

Recording Industry Association of America Senior Executive Vice President Mitch Glazier added that his group was looking forward to working with Marti to “help foster the genius of America's creative community” by protecting their songs.

NBCUniversal general counsel Kim Harris also applauded the pick and called intellectual property “a key driver of American innovation and economic growth.”

The post of intellectual property chief has been empty for more than a year, since Victoria Espinel stepped down to lead BSA | The Software Alliance, a trade group that represents companies including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. 

“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,” Espinel said in a statement congratulating Marti.

If confirmed by the Senate, Marti would be the just the second person in the job since it was created by the Pro-IP Act in 2008.

Prior to his current job, Marti worked at a firm previously called Lott and Friedland, now known as Lott and Fischer. He has served on the International Trademark Association, among other organizations. 

Updated at 6:32 p.m.