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Cablegate: Project Proposals, 2007 Ipr Enforcement Training Funds

VZCZCXRO6220
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0754/01 1450345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250345Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6113
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0998
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0138
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 7119
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 5214
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 5693
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 7705
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000754

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/INS, EB/TPP/IPE C LACROSSE
MCC FOR S GROFF, D TETER, D NASSIRY AND E BURKE

E.O 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR CE
SUBJECT: PROJECT PROPOSALS, 2007 IPR ENFORCEMENT TRAINING FUNDS
PROGRAM, SRI LANKA.

REF: SECSTATE 55928

1. SUMMARY: Post is pleased to submit a proposal to obtain funds
to conduct three IPR law enforcement training sessions for
magistrates and customs officials at a total cost of USD 16,500.
The training sessions will repeat as well as expand a highly
successful workshop recently developed by the American Chamber of
Commerce of Sri Lanka. The objective will be to enhance the
enforcement capacity of judges of the magistrate courts which have
criminal jurisdiction over IPR violations and the Sri Lanka Customs.
End Summary

BACKGROUND

2. U.S. companies in Sri Lanka experience problems due to
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) piracy of music, software,
movies, clothing, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. For
instance, Sri Lanka exports USD 3 billion worth of apparel annually.
Most of these garments are branded apparel owned by US companies.
Counterfeit apparel products are commonly available at retail
outlets, and occasionally found in export cargo. Another glaring
example of IPR violations is the easy access to pirated software,
music CDs and movie DVDs. Most of the rights holders are now
playing a pro-active role and have formed an IPR working group under
the auspices of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). The
group has drawn attention of the government of the importance of IPR
protection. The group launched a high profile public awareness
campaign on Intellectual Property Rights and organized a seminar
recently for magistrates, the judicial officers in Sri Lanka
authorized to rule on IPR cases.

3. Although there are sufficient laws to protect IPR, the
importance of IPR is not well understood by enforcement officials
from police and Customs to the judicial ranks. For example, when
judging IPR pirates guilty, judges frequently awarded damages
insufficient to discourage repeated offenses.

SUCCESS STORY - SEEKING FURTHER SUCCESS

4. AmCham, in collaboration with the National Intellectual Property
Office (NIPO), conducted a basic IPR enforcement training program
for a group of 35 magistrates in February 2007. This was the first
formal IPR training received by Sri Lankan magistrates since
introduction of a new IPR law in 2003. The trainers included senior
judges as well as private sector rights holders. The workshop
covered criminal sanctions, civil litigation and appropriate
procedural processes. It highlighted the socio-economic costs of
IPR violations. The workshop concluded with a collective accord by
the magistrates to be stringent in enforcing Sri Lankan IPR laws.
One member of the AmCham working group reported a significant
increase in the size of fines magistrates gave to IPR violators
following the training.

PROPOSAL

5. We propose to repeat and expand the above training program: to
run (a) a basic training in IPR law enforcement for magistrates who
didn't attend the initial training, (b) a basic IPR enforcement
training for Sri Lanka Customs officials, and (c) a two day advanced
training course for magistrates who have undergone the basic
training. The programs will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The
Director General of the National Intellectual Property Office,
Customs officials, senior judicial officials and industry
specialists will address the seminars. We propose to invite a
resource person from the USPTO for the advanced workshop for
magistrates. These proposals have the full support of the National
Intellectual Property Office, which will liaise with the Chief
Justice, the Judges' Institute and Sri Lanka Customs. The seminars
will be organized by the AmCham.

Total Cost for three programs: USD 16,500

a) One day basic IPR training for magistrates: cost USD 2,300.
--No of participants (trainees and trainers): 40
--Conference hall/equipment hire: USD 900 (note: USD 20 per
participant)
--Travel allowance for participants (who live outside Colombo): USD
1,200
--Training material: USD 200

b) One day basic IPR training for Customs officials: USD 1,800

COLOMBO 00000754 002.2 OF 002


--No of participants (trainees and trainers): 30
--Conference hall/equipment hire: USD 700
--Travel allowance for participants: USD 900
--Training material: USD 200

c) Two day workshop on advanced IPR enforcement methodology for
magistrates: USD 12,400 including USPTO resource person. (USD 3,400
without a USPTO resource person)
--No of participants (trainees and trainers): 30
--Conference hall/equipment hire: USD 1,400
--Travel allowance for participants: USD 1,800
--Training material: USD 200
--Cost (air ticket, hotel and per diem) of USPTO resource person:
USD 9000

PROJECT EVALUATION METRICS

7. The proposed project meets the metrics listed reftel in the
following manners:

--Targeted to U.S. priorities: The U.S. runs a USD 1.9 billion
trade deficit with Sri Lanka. The USG is interested in increasing
U.S. exports to Sri Lanka. Protection of IPR to promote economic
growth and prosperity has been a Mission Performance Plan goal
during the past several years. The project is aimed at ensuring
U.S. exports are not impeded by intellectual property theft. The
proposal will synergize resources: AmCham, the Government of Sri
Lanka's National Intellectual Property Office, Sri Lanka Customs,
and the Judges' Institute will be implementing partners.

--Strong support of host government entity: The Government of Sri
Lanka requested USG support for IPR enforcement and trade capacity
building during bilateral trade talks under the U.S.-Sri Lanka Trade
and Investment Framework Agreement in November 2006. The
government's National IPR Office strongly supports the project
proposal and has undertaken to liaise with the Chief Justice, the
Judges' Institute and Sri Lanka Customs to facilitate program. The
head of the National IPR Office will also participate as a resource
person.

--Address key gaps in Sri Lanka's strategy to improve IPR
enforcement: Sri Lanka passed a new IPR law in 2003. However,
enforcement has been spotty due to lack of enforcement training.
Under the new law, Magistrate Courts have criminal jurisdiction over
IPR claims, issue search warrants and hear cases. There are about
200 magistrates in Sri Lanka. With the exception of the 30
magistrates in the initial training program, the magistrates have
not been trained in IPR law since its passage in 2003. They are
generally unaware of the IPR law and the nature of IPR violations.
Most have limited understanding of the economic and social impacts
of counterfeit trade. Customs officials also play a key role in
combating IPR.

--Capacity to make near term, measurable success with clear
benchmarks: After the first training for magistrates, AmCham and
the National IPR Office report higher fines in IPR cases. The
National IPR Office and the Amcham IPR group are committed to
follow-up on the workshop to ensure the desired goals are met.

--Strong oversight and accountability measures: The Embassy works
frequently with AmCham programs. The current AmCham executive
director has demonstrated during his two years in office an ability
to plan and deliver clear-cut, well presented programs. The
implementation of this program will be consistent with this
tradition. One of Embassy's Economic Officers, who sits on the
AmCham Board, will be designated to review accounting for these
seminars and ensure that the program is implemented. Embassy will
report on the seminars as they take place.

8. COMMENT: With a relatively small amount of funding, we
anticipate seeing significant results. This grant envisions
expanding upon an already effective one-time program. It will
enable more Sri Lankan judicial and law enforcement officials to
understand Sri Lankan IPR laws and its importance to their own
nation.

BLAKE

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