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Cablegate: Colombo Ipr Training Request

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

040649Z May 05




E.O. 12958: N/A
REF: A) COLOMBO 816 B) STATE 48295 C) 04 COLOMBO 1971

1. Per request ref B, Post is pleased to submit the
following proposals for funding. Since the passage of a
new IPR law in 2003, Sri Lanka has taken strong action to
curb IPR violations in the past few months. The public and
private sectors are working together to implement the IPR
law. Econoff chairs a private sector IPR Working Group
that meets with the police and government to support and
encourage progress. There has been commendable progress,
but further assistance will be needed to support government
efforts and build capacity in all stakeholders.

2. Ref A outlines recent developments in IPR enforcement
in Sri Lanka.

3. Proposed projects:

Proposal 1

The National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) has
proposed a two-part training for law enforcement officers.

--The first part of the proposal is to hold a 3-day
training session for 100 Police and Customs Officials in
Colombo. The first day of training will provide general
training for both Customs and Police. The next two days
will be specialized one-day training programs for Customs
and Police. The training is to be conducted by US law
enforcement agency officials, NIPO and other IPR personnel
in Sri Lanka, and private sector representatives from IFPI
and Microsoft. They can be trained in law, investigation
and detection, product identification, prosecution etc. As
part of this initiative, the US Embassy and the IPR working
group will prepare a manual of product and copyright
information to be distributed among participants and help
establish a 24 hr help desk for consumers and customs at
the NIPO. Estimated Cost is $14,500.

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Cost of Conference hall hire for 100 participants for 3
Local speakers = $500
Seminar handouts = $500
Cost of travel of 2 US speakers (economy class)=$6200
Lodging and Per diem for 2 US Speakers for 5 days=$1600
Printing of 100 copies of the manual: $2000
Help Desk at NIPO (2 mobile phones and connections): $500
Miscellaneous expenses = $800
Total Cost=$14,500

--The second part of the proposed customs and police
training will be to select 3 officers each from Police and
Customs to be trained as trainers following the first in-
country training. They will be provided with more
comprehensive training abroad to provide an exposure to the
enforcement systems abroad. Total estimated cost: $35,000
(Note: If outcomes of part I of this proposal can be
achieved through the proposed USPTO/IIPI training planned
in Colombo in FY 2005, then we can proceed directly to part
2 of the proposal.)

Cost of travel Colombo to Washington for 6 Sri Lankan
officials on full fare Economy ($3100)= $18,600;
Lodging and per diem in Washington DC for 7 days
($208/day)= $9,000
A 2 day visit to a regional country with a good enforcement
mechanism: $5,000
Taxi fares = $600
Visa fees = $600
Miscellaneous expenses = $1,200
Total cost = = $35,000

Proposal 2

A private sector IPR working group chaired by Econoff and
coordinated by the American Chamber of Commerce is
providing assistance to various government agencies in
implementing the new law. This working group would
benefit from training on best practices, and tools and
techniques for public and private sector responsibilities
and efforts in enforcement. The working group would also
benefit from learning of a model for implementation.
Estimated Cost $25,000

Cost of travel to 5 members to Washington DC or to a
regional country= $15,500
Per Diem for 7 days= $7,140
Visa Fees= $500
Taxi fares= $500
Miscellaneous Expenses= $1,360
Total Cost= $25,000

4. Project Criteria:

5. Targeted to U.S. Priorities: Assisting the IPR regime
meets a key MPP goal of supporting economic growth in Sri
Lanka. Specifically, the two proposals will enable the US
mission in Colombo to accomplish US priorities of
encouraging strong protection of IPR through engagement
with GSL and improving the enforcement regime.
Strengthening law enforcement and legal system complements
other US Government activities in Sri Lanka including
customs enforcement related to Container Security
Initiative (CSI) and Megaports program. Colombo port is a
major transshipment hub and increased IPR enforcement will
also curb counterfeit trade in the region. IPR was also a
topic in all TIFA rounds and strong IPR protection will
facilitate a future FTA with the United States. US
companies in Sri Lanka experience significant market losses
due to piracy and counterfeiting in music, movie, and
software products and strong IPR protection will enable
them to gain increased market access to this growing

6. Host government support: Sri Lanka is a party to major
Intellectual Property Agreements. Sri Lanka and the US
signed a Bilateral Agreement for the Protection of
Intellectual Property Rights in 1991, and Sri Lanka is also
a party to the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS) Agreement in the World Trade Organization. A new
intellectual property law came into force in November 2003.
It meets both US-Sri Lanka bilateral IPR agreement and
TRIPS obligations to a great extent. Infringement of
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is a punishable offense
under the law. With the passage of the new law, the
government has taken some positive steps on IPR
enforcement, including a major raid on a Malaysian-owned CD
and DVD copying plant. The Police carried out additional
raids of counterfeit CD/VCD stores and a duplicating plant,
so far in 2005. The Commercial Crimes Unit of the Police
Criminal Investigation Department, Colombo Fraud Bureau and
local police stations carried out these raids. Police
investigated and prosecuted a small company for selling
counterfeit apparel using the Internet. Customs has also
seized counterfeit consumer goods. These are all
significant first steps towards establishing a strong IPR
regime in Sri Lanka. Key Government of Sri Lanka officials
in the National Intellectual Property Office, Department of
Commerce, Police and Customs have shown support to promote
IPR enforcement in Sri Lanka.

7. Key gaps in strategy to improve IPR enforcement: There
is an acute need for training here. Both Police and
Customs need training in IPR law, investigation and
detection, product identification, prosecution etc. Right
holders have complained that lack of IPR knowledge in the
police is preventing speedier resolution of cases and
hampering prosecution.

8. Metrics to measure progress: The following indicators
will be used to judge the success of the projects. Number
of police raids of stores; Availability of pirated and
counterfeit goods in the market; increase in sales of
original products represented by US companies; and the
number of customs raids.

9. Project oversight: The IPR working group will
coordinate the implementation of the projects. The US
Embassy in Colombo will report the progress in IPR
enforcement on a half yearly basis.

10. Post appreciates the opportunity to request vital
assistance needed to enforce the new IPR law in Sri Lanka
and protect right holders.


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