We congratulate Brattle Senior Associate Dr. Brent Lutes on his appointment as the inaugural Chief Economist for the US Copyright Office. Dr. Lutes began his new role on April 11, 2022.

As Chief Economist, Dr. Lutes will evaluate the economic impact of programs and policies affecting the US’s intellectual property (IP) system and international copyright framework. He will advise Copyright Office officials, including the Register of Copyrights and the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy and International Affairs, on these implications.

Dr. Lutes will also serve as a principal copyright representative on matters of copyright policy, programs, and research to several committees within the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress, other governmental agencies, and outside organizations. This includes planning, overseeing, and evaluating economic research and analysis on domestic and international IP protection and enforcement-related issues, as well as preparing written products for the Copyright Office, US Congress, and the public.

“The creation of the Copyright Office’s Chief Economist role reflects the increasing economic complexities in copyright and IP-related matters, which have coincided with the growth of IP-intensive industries and intangible assets and their importance to our economies,” said Brattle President and Principal David L. Sunding. “Brent’s skillset and experience make him an ideal fit to oversee the research needed to navigate such complexities and the role they play in copyright-related disputes and legislation.”

Dr. Lutes has extensive experience in IP matters, as well as commercial damages and rate regulation. Most recently, he led a team of economists in valuing the copyrights associated with a well-known American painter. Notably, Dr. Lutes conducted complex economic analyses used to set compulsory music licensing fees in the Phonorecords IV proceedings.

Dr. Lutes has also consulted for attorneys and companies involved in complex commercial litigation and regulatory proceedings, including Copyright Royalty Board proceedings, infringement cases involving commercial success, preliminary injunctions, domestic industry analysis for Section 337 inquiries, and damages. His work spans numerous industries, including the entertainment, fine art, pharmaceutical, consumer product, cryptocurrency, medical device, and transportation sectors.

“I’m honored to serve as the Copyright Office’s first-ever Chief Economist, and as a representative promoting IP-related research in the US and around the world,” said Dr. Lutes. “IP has long been a focus of my work at Brattle, and I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned at the firm to my new role.”