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Cablegate: Advancing Ipr Enforcement in South Africa Through

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRETORIA 004424

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/S; EB/TPP/MTA/IPC; INL/C
USDOC FOR 4510/ITA/IEP/ANESA/OA/J DIEMOND
COMMERCE ALSO FOR HVINEYARD
TREASURY FOR BRESNICK
DEPT PASS USTR FOR AUSTR LISER, VESPINEL, PCOLEMAN
DEPT PASS USPTO FOR MADLIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIPR ETRD SF AGOA USTR
SUBJECT: ADVANCING IPR ENFORCEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA THROUGH
USPTO WORKSHOP AND IPACT SEMINAR FOR PROSECUTORS

REF: (A) PRETORIA 3158, (B) PRETORIA 1437, (C) STATE 160178

1. Summary. The Intellectual Property Action Group
(IPACT), which includes representatives of U.S. companies,
organized two useful workshops on the enforcement of
intellectual property rights in South Africa in August and
September. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office funded the
first workshop that featured the participation of over 60
officials from the South African government and private
sector. The second event was a seminar for South African
prosecutors that focused on the Counterfeit Goods Act,
copyright, trademarks, and criminal cases. Both events
advanced U.S. economic interests in enforcing intellectual
property rights. End summary.

2. Less than a year ago, the Intellectual Property Action
Group (IPACT) of South Africa formed a training subcommittee
to help advance the enforcement of intellectual property
rights (IPR) in South Africa. The members of the
subcommittee include the Recording Industry of South Africa
(RISA), the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft
(SAFACT), Microsoft, Embassy economic officer, and lawyers
from major SA firms specializing in IPR law, including the
firm that represents the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
After several months of planning, the subcommittee succeeded
in organizing two IPR events that took place on August 23
and September 21 in Johannesburg. Both events aimed to
sensitize South African government officials about the
importance of IPR and the need for more effective
enforcement. The South African government cooperated by
providing speakers for the first event and nearly a hundred
prosecutors from the Gauteng province for the second event.
Both events advanced U.S. policy to promote the protection
of intellectual property rights, an important goal of the
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Workshop on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights
--------------------------------------------- --------------

3. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), IPACT and
the U.S. Embassy organized the Workshop on Enforcement of
Intellectual Property Rights on August 23 in Johannesburg.
The USPTO funded the event (Reftel C). Over sixty South
African government officials participated, including
representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry
(DTI), DTI's Companies and Intellectual Property
Registration Office (CIPRO), the Department of Health, the
South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African
Revenue Service (SARS), the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) and the Registrar of Trade Marks and Patents.
Managers from leading U.S. pharmaceutical companies also
attended and discussed solutions to their problems with SAG
officials. The media also covered the event.

4. Welcoming the South African participants, U.S. Consul
General discussed the importance of IPR to virtually all
modern economic activity. The Chairman of IPACT recommended
that the workshop become an annual feature. He discussed
the relationship between "creativity" and IPR, saying:

"Creative genius in music and movies can entertain. Creative
genius in medicine can heal and save lives. Although it has
been argued, unsuccessfully I might add, that counterfeit
products facilitate the free flow of information, they in
fact merely feed off someone else's creativity. It is not a
victimless crime when unscrupulous operators want to turn a
profit on someone else's intellectual property. The
combined economic loss for the South African economy is
huge. Intellectual Property theft is sometimes perceived as
being a problem that only affects the bottom line of huge
companies. Last week I had a meeting with the South African
Trade Union of Musicians called MUSA. I can assure you that
individual musicians in the rural areas of our country are
as concerned about the effect that piracy has on their
livelihood as any of the affected multi-national companies."

5. USPTO Attorney Advisor Michael Adlin delivered well-
received presentations on counterfeit medicines and
effective enforcement tools against optical disc and digital
piracy. A representative of the SA Department of Health
discussed enforcement using the Medicines Control Act. A
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) official discussed
optical disc and digital piracy. (Note: She will attend
the USPTO Enforcement Academy program in October 2004.) The
Chairman of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) discussed
software piracy issues. The group marketing director of
Johnnic Communications spoke on the importance of IPR
enforcement for the film industry. The Superintendent of
the Computer Unit of the South African Police Force
discussed investigative techniques along with two
representatives of the South African Revenue Service.

Seminar for Prosecutors
-----------------------

6. On September 21 IPACT hosted a seminar for South African
prosecutors. IPACT invited nearly 100 prosecutors and
nearly all of them attended the one-day event held at
Microsoft's new offices. Private sector attorneys
specializing in IPR law focused on South Africa's
Counterfeit Goods Act, discussed copyright and trademark
enforcement issues, and described the economic harm of
pirated goods. There were also sections on expert evidence
preparation, criminal case examples, and case study
workshops. IPACT described the event as a public private
partnership.

FRAZER

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