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Cablegate: Portugal: Demarche On Ec/Swiss Positions On

VZCZCXRO6108
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHLI #0549 2941345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211345Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7931
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS LISBON 000549

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR USTR TANUJA GARDE AND DAWN SHACKLEFORD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAGR ETRD PGOV PREL EUN KIPR PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL: DEMARCHE ON EC/SWISS POSITIONS ON
GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS, PATENT DISCLOSURE RULES

REF: STATE 104985

1. PoleconOff delivered reftel demarche to Antonio Miguel,
Director of European Affairs and International Relations, and
Maria Pastor, Chief of the Division of Foreign Relations and
Cooperation, at the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture on
October 20. PoleconOff clarified the U.S. position regarding
the Geographical Indications (GI) Register, extension of GI
provisions to other products, and amendment of the TRIPS
Agreement, and stressed the importance of focusing on
improving market access in the Doha negotiations.

2. Miguel said that Portugal understands the U.S. position on
GIs but that it is a major issue for Portugal and other EU
countries that have a significant number of GIs, including
France, Spain, Italy, and Greece. He noted that as the
current proposal is already a compromise, far from what
Portugal originally wanted, they would not contemplate
further change. Miguel acknowledged that the TRIPS Agreement
GI provisions were negotiated on the basis of wine and
distilled spirits, but that Portugal has cheese, olive oil,
prepared meats, fruits such as "pera rocha" (rock pear), and
other locally produced products that also need to be
protected. As such, Portugal strongly supports extension of
GI provisions so that other countries cannot profit from the
sale of Portuguese-origin products.

3. On the issue of the GI Register, Maria Pastor underscored
the need for a mandatory legally-binding register that would
protect GIs in every WTO member state and establish common
requirements. Pastor dismissed the notion of a voluntary
register with no legal effect, saying that it would not have
any significance and would serve only as a notification
database. Miguel pointed out that Portugal already has an
agreement with EU countries to remove automatically
GI-protected products from the market if found, and that the
EU signed an agreement with Korea last week under which the
EU and Korea are obligated to protect designated GIs.

4. Regarding Portugal's support for the inclusion of patent
disclosure rules in the TRIPS Agreement, Miguel acknowledged
that it was a tradeoff that was important for developing
countries such as India and Brazil, but not very important
for Portugal. Miguel noted that although patent protection
is not a problem in the EU, Portugal is sensitive to it
because it is similar to the GI principle of protecting a
product's origin. Pastor maintained that experience has
shown that the current system of protection against bad
patents is insufficient, and that patent disclosure rules
would create greater transparency in patent registration and
promote protection against bad patents.


For more reporting from Embassy Lisbon and information about Portugal,
please see our Intelink site:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/portal:port ugal
BALLARD

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