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Cablegate: Judicial Workshop On Intellectual Property Case

VZCZCXRO9128
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #2573/01 3301319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251319Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6525
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUCPDC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 002573

SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS TO US DOJ FOR M-F. KOUAME

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KIPR SF
SUBJECT: JUDICIAL WORKSHOP ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CASE
ADJUDICATION

1. (U) Summary: More than 200 South African regional
magistrates attended a USG-funded IPR workshop near
Johannesburg on November 13-15. The workshop follows earlier
USG-funded programs on the investigation and prosecution of
IPR offenses. These programs have enhanced the capacity of
South Africa's legal system to enforce IPR laws, and post
will explore the possibility of future IPR programs in South
Africa. Post thanks Judge Donald of the Western District of
Tennessee and Chief Judge Damich of the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims for making vital contributions to the success of the
workshop. End Summary.

-------------------------
IPR Adjudication Workshop
-------------------------

2. (U) More than 200 South African regional magistrates
attended a workshop on the adjudication of intellectual
property rights (IPR) cases on November 13-15 in the
Johannesburg suburb of Vanderbiljpark. The workshop was
INL-funded and organized jointly by the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ), the Association of Regional Magistrates of
Southern Africa (ARMSA), the South Africa Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI), and post.

3. (U) The objective of the workshop was to increase the
judiciary's level of expertise in IPR cases. The course
material focused on trial procedures, remedies, and
sentencing in complex copyright, trademark and trade secret
cases. The seminar encouraged cooperation and
information-sharing between the regional magistrates, and
featured lively exchanges between the U.S. officials and the
regional magistrates.

-----------------------
Prominent Participants
-----------------------

4. (U) Ambassador Eric Bost and DTI Deputy Trade Minister
Dr. Rob Davies provided opening remarks. Both emphasized the
importance of IPR protection to foreign direct investment and
consumer health and safety. DOJ prosecutor Marie-Flore
Kouame led the workshop, and officials from DOJ, USDOC and
ARMSA moderated panel sessions. U.S. District Judge Donald
of the Western District of Tennessee and Chief Judge Edward
Damich of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims made several
presentations on topics ranging from determining whether a
copyright is valid to how to sentence a criminal defendant.
The U.S. judges also gamely participated in role plays that
were tailored to South Africa to highlight how to deal with
specific IPR adjudication issues. South African Supreme Court
of Appeals Justice Louis Harms, the preeminent expert on IPR
matters in South Africa, explained the statutory framework
for IP in South Africa and gave practical pointers on
copyright, trademark and civil remedies. All of the
sessions, and, in particular, the role plays, were
high-spirited. One of the regional magistrates was so
enthused by the workshop that prior to a session, she led all
of the attendees in singing a South African song. A
comprehensive exchange of questions and ideas between the
presenters and the magistrates followed each session.

5. (U) Post received full support from ARMSA President
Adriaan Bekker and DTI Chief Director for IPR Enforcement
Mandla Mynatheli, who noted, respectively, that the workshop
was "considered very productive" by the magistrates and "a
great success." An Assistant U.S. Attorney on a long-term
TDY in South Africa also attended the workshop, and
afterwards raved about how well-presented and useful the
presentations were. Many participants commented that the
success of the workshop stemmed from its practicality,
Qsuccess of the workshop stemmed from its practicality,
interactive nature, and cultural sensitivity. Many workshop
attendees expressed pleasure that the workshop's agenda,
faculty, and chairpersons reflected the diversity of South
Africa.

-------------------------------------------
Comment: Much Accomplished, Much Yet To Do
-------------------------------------------

6. (U) The judicial workshop follows on the success of
earlier USG programs on the investigation and prosecution of
IPR crimes in South Africa. While South Africa has
specialized commercial crime courts, sitting magistrates are
frequently overwhelmed or unfamiliar with the technicalities
of IPR. According to SAG officials and the private bar, the
lack of technical training on IPR cases leads to enforcement
problems and a lack of adequate sentencing in IPR cases.

PRETORIA 00002573 002 OF 002


DOJ, ARMSA, DTI, and post developed this interactive workshop
to address these issues, encourage an exchange between U.S.
and South African experts, and enhance law enforcement
cooperation. DOJ plans to assess the impact of the workshop
on the regional magistrates' case work in approximately six
months.

7. (U) The success of this IP case adjudication workshop
indicates that the SAG is paying attention to IPR issues and
is willing to seek assistance to improve its enforcement
efforts. The DTI has expressed interest in future
cooperation on law enforcement practical training programs.
For South African officials to implement best practices on
IPR matters, the USG must continue our joint training and
education efforts. Post hopes to explore the possibility of
further IPR programs in South Africa and the region and
recommends holding a similar workshop for judges from all of
the South African Customs Union (SACU) member countries.
Post also supports USG plans to hold an intellectual property
awareness campaign targeted at small and medium size
entrepreneurs and training workshops for customs officials
from Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries.

8. (U) This cable has been cleared with USDOJ Marie-Flore
Kouame.
BOST

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