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Cablegate: Post's Submission Special 301 Review: Israel

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 TEL AVIV 001246

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR EB/IPE SWILSON AND NEA/IPA GLOGERFO
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USTR JCHOE-GROVES AND ESAUMS
PLEASE PASS TO DOC JBOGER
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USPTO JURDAB,
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO LOC STEPP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR IS ECONOMY AND FINANCE LABOR AND COMMERCE ISRAEL RELATIONS
SUBJECT: POST'S SUBMISSION SPECIAL 301 REVIEW: ISRAEL

REF: TEL AVIV 00426 STATE 024592

Sensitive but Unclassified, Please protect accordingly

1. (SBU) Summary. The attached evaluation of protection of
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Israel focuses on areas
of specific concern as detailed in reftel B. Post's policy
recommendation is being transmitted septel. End Summary.

--------------------
Optical Media Piracy
--------------------

2. (SBU) Cooperation between the IPR police units, customs,
and industry have stemmed the growth of large-scale piracy
operations. However, the IPR police unit is still not fully
staffed. In addition, there are no controls on the sale of
optical media manufacturing capacity equipment in Israel.

3. (SBU) A draft law on digital media was introduced by the
MoJ in October 2004. The "Private Copying Bill" threatens to
undermine the ability of U.S. rights' holders to collect
royalties on their content when the content is downloaded
from the internet. The law calls for a small tax to be
placed on digital media (CDs, MP3s, etc.) that would then be
used to provide remuneration for rights' holders. The law in
essence threatens to legalize downloaded music, software, and
games that are for "private use" without allowing for
adequate compensation. (Note: The amount of the proposed tax
of the digital media is still a matter of debate, but is
likely to be less than 25 cents per unit. End note.)

--------------------------------------
Use/Procurement of Government Software
--------------------------------------

4. (SBU) The GOI has not announced an IT neutrality policy
for procurement of software. In general, the GOI procurement
of software complies with either licensing, or purchasing
official copies of products from respective distributors.

-------------------
TRIPS COMPATIBILITY
-------------------

5. (SBU) Israel has proposed in a rider bill to the Economic
Arrangements Law (EAL) a provision that would severely limit
the ability to extend the patent for a chemical entity that
took years of research to develop. (Note: The EAL is an
Omnibus Act that includes changes to laws that govern
economic activity and is voted on along with the annual
budget. End note.) As currently drafted, the law requires
that a request for an extension of patent first be filed in
another permitting state, and the patent office in Israel is
not able to grant the extension until it is granted in the
permitting state. The law also stipulates that the
application must be filed in Israel without exception within
60 days of filing in the permitting state. Finally, the
period of extension granted will be equal to the shortest
term in any permitting state. In effect, this means that
most applications for patent term extensions will allow for
only short periods of coverage. This decrease in
extendibility of patents, in combination with the
time-consuming system of pre-grant opposition to patents,
will provide diminished IPR coverage for chemical inventions.

6. (U) To date no laws have been proposed that would
regulate geographical indications, use of traditional
knowledge, or expressions of folklore.

7. (SBU) Israel has emerging laws related to genetic
resources and access, and benefit-sharing. The majority of
laws governing access to genetic resources date from the
Plant Protection Law of 1966. To date, Israel has not given
high priority to implementation of the Biodiversity
Convention. Israel plans to sign the Cartagena Protocol on
Biosafety. The rights and benefits of contracting parties
who contribute genetic resources are generally expressed
within the contractual agreements signed by the various
parties. (Note: For more complete information see Reftel. End
Note.)

8. (SBU) Ethical drug companies currently receive no
protection for clinical test data required by the GOI for
approval of new drugs (data exclusivity). An interagency GOI
panel comprised of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of
Health, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Industry and
Trade recommended in April 2004 that Israel adopt a program
of data exclusivity. However, their recommendation for a
data exclusivity regime falls short of real OECD-level
protection for clinical test data. The law allows for export
of generic drugs during the period of exclusivity, ties the
beginning of the period of exclusivity to registration in a
3rd country (despite the onerous process and paperwork that
it takes to register a new drug in Israel), and allows
generic companies to rely on the files during the period of
protection for the purpose of preparing to launch generic
products as soon as patent protection expires. In addition,
no coverage is provided for new uses or new indications.

-----------
Enforcement
-----------

9. (SBU) The MoJ does not compile annual statistics on
prosecutions related to IPR. However, the MoJ has offered to
compile a submission of relevant information and submit the
information to USTR no later than March 4.

--------
Treaties
--------
10. (U) Israel has taken no action on ratification of the
1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty or WIPO Performance and Phonograms
Treaty.

********************************************* ********************
Visit Embassy Tel Aviv's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/telaviv

You can also access this site through the State Department's
Classified SIPRNET website.
********************************************* ********************
KURTZER

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