Cablegate: Special 301 Demarche Delivered; Got Plans To

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Special 301 Demarche Delivered; GOT Plans to
Address Data Exclusivity Soon

Ref: State 111529

1. (SBU) Summary: Noting outstanding issues in
pharmaceuticals, copyright and trademark protection,
Emboffs informed GOT interlocutors that Turkey will
remain on the Special 301 Watch List this year. In a
change from its earlier position that data exclusivity
is not required by the TRIPS Agreement, the Health
Ministry told us it intends to implement this
protection, with a decision on the modalities to be
taken in June. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Emboffs met with officials from the Health and
Foreign Ministries and the Customs Undersecretariat in
connection with the U.S. decision to maintain Turkey on
the Special 301 Watch List. We stressed Turkey's
obligation under the WTO TRIPS Agreement to implement
data exclusivity protection for pharmaceuticals as well
as continuing concerns on enforcement of copyrights and

3. (SBU) In a reversal of the Health Ministry's prior
position on this subject, Hayriye Mihcak, General
Director for Pharmaceuticals, acknowledged the
obligation to implement data exclusivity under TRIPS and
the EU Customs Union. She stated that the issue had
been discussed at a GOT meeting with the private sector
and EU representatives on April 10. Following that
meeting, the GOT solicited input from the private sector
as to the financial impact of implementing data
exclusivity. Pharmaceuticals industry associations
committed to providing their input on this issue by mid-
June. Mihcak told Econoff she expects the GOT to decide
on when and for what period to implement data
exclusivity by mid-June, before she leaves for the
United States on an International Visitors Program on
IPR issues.

4. (SBU) In a subsequent meeting, Health U/S Necdet
Unuvar confirmed that Turkey considers itself obligated,
under both TRIPS and the terms of its Customs Union
Agreement with the EU, to implement data exclusivity.
He indicated the MFA was now looking at legal issues
involved in data exclusivity implementation, but offered
no timeline for it. Unuvar also said the GOT was still
studying the period of protection that data exclusivity
would provide.

5. (SBU) Oya Karakas, MFA Head of Department,
Multilateral Economic Affairs, told Econoff that the GOT
would work toward removal of Turkey from the Special 301
Watch List. In coming weeks, MFA would meet with
relevant GOT institutions to develop a plan to address
intellectual property concerns. She said the GOT
intends to implement data exclusivity, but would like to
obtain private sector input as to the best way of doing

6. (SBU) Mehmet Gucuk, MFA Deputy Director General for
Bilateral Economic Affairs, told Econoff that the Health
Ministry believes data exclusivity is not required by
the TRIPS Agreement. As for the EU Customs Union
requirement on data exclusivity, Gucuk acknowledged that
this issue was prominent in Turkey's economic dialogue
with the EU. However, he related that many in the GOT
believed that Turkey had been overly hasty in making
commitments to harmonize economic legislation under the
customs union, including for data exclusivity, and that
other EU candidate countries had succeeded in obtaining
lead times to implement data exclusivity. Comment:
Gucuk does not follow IPR issues closely, and probably
did not represent the GOT's current position on data
exclusivity. End Comment.

7. (SBU) Ercan Saka, General Director for EU and Foreign
Relations at the Customs Undersecretariat, stated that
improving the intellectual property regime was a high
priority for the GOT, but did not elaborate on the GOT's
plans in this area.

8. (SBU) Alp Sevindik, Director for Corporate Affairs,
Pfizer, confirmed that the Health Ministry has told the
private sector that it plans to implement data
exclusivity. He attributes this to EU pressure,
including a threat to launch a WTO case. Sevindik
expressed concern that, if the GOT decides on delayed
implementation of data exclusivity, generic producers
may rush to register products which will gain protection
before the implementation date.

8. (SBU) Embassy plans to meet with the Culture Ministry
on copyright issues identified in the Special 301
announcement in the near future.

© Scoop Media

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