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The Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator is dedicated to the protection of the American intellectual property that powers our economy. American entrepreneurs, business owners, and the general public are best served by an economy that fosters and protects our global competitive advantage, which must discourage intellectual property theft while protecting the constitutional rights of our citizens. Our office strives to make sure that the Federal government takes the most appropriate action to realize those goals.
President Obama and Vice President Biden are acutely aware that intellectual property – the ideas behind inventions; the artistry that goes into books, music, and film; the valuable trade secrets that preserve a company’s market edge – is an integral part of the U.S. economy. Infringement of intellectual property can damage our economy and undermine American jobs. Infringement shrinks markets and opportunity, hurts export prospects, threatens health and safety, and funds criminal syndicates around the world.
The job of the IPEC office is to coordinate the work of the Federal government in order to stop illegal and damaging intellectual property theft. We work with relevant Federal agencies, law enforcement organizations, foreign governments, private companies, public interest groups, and others to develop and implement the best strategies to conduct this fight. We aim to foster and protect invention and creativity by reducing infringement at home and abroad.
Acting Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator – Howard Shelanski
Howard Shelanski is the current Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and is serving as the Acting U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. President Obama nominated him to the post in April 2013 and Mr. Shelanski took office following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate in June 2013.
Mr. Shelanski was previously the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and he has also served as Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission and as a Senior Economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisers. He has been a member of the faculties of Georgetown University (since 2011) and the University of California at Berkeley (1997-2009), where his teaching and research focused on regulation and antitrust policy. Before beginning his academic and government career Mr. Shelanski practiced law and served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court, to Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, and to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Mr. Shelanski received a B.A. from Haverford College, and a J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Chief of Staff – Alex Niejelow
Alex Niejelow currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator within the Executive Office of the President. In this position, Mr. Niejelow is responsible for managing the priorities of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, which is the primary office charged with developing the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy and coordinating the efforts of the U.S. Government national security, criminal and civil agencies engaged in intellectual property policy and enforcement.
Prior to joining the White House, Mr. Niejelow was Counselor to the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2010 to 2012. In this role, Mr. Niejelow served as the senior advisor to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner on matters of international trade policy and operations and worked extensively on agency initiatives aimed at trade facilitation, U.S. economic competitiveness and global supply chain security.
In 2008, Mr. Niejelow joined the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, where he worked on a variety of litigation matters, including complex securities litigation, government and regulatory matters, intellectual property litigation and internal corporate investigations.
From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Niejelow served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
In 2005, Mr. Niejelow was elected Committeeman for Philadelphia’s Eighth Ward, where he served until 2007. Prior to law school, Mr. Niejelow served as a Police Officer with the City of Durham, N.C. Police Department.
Mr. Niejelow is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 2007) and a graduate of Duke University (A.B., 2004).
U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator