Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ABUDHABI845
2003-02-19 13:51:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

EMBASSY ABU DHABI COMMENTS ON DRAFT 2003

Tags:  PREL KIPR ETRD TC 
pdf how-to read a cable
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Diana T Fritz 06/05/2007 10:25:56 AM From DB/Inbox: Search Results

Cable 
Text: 
 
 
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM February 19, 2003


To: No Action Addressee 

Action: Unknown 

From: AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 845 - ROUTINE) 

TAGS: PREL, ETRD, KIPR 

Captions: None 

Subject: EMBASSY ABU DHABI COMMENTS ON DRAFT 2003 SPECIAL 301 
 REVIEW 

Ref: None 
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABU DHABI 00845

SIPDIS
CXABU:
 ACTION: ECON 
 INFO: P/M AMB DCM POL 
Laser1:
 INFO: FCS 

DISSEMINATION: ECON
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB: MMWAHBA
DRAFTED: ECON:CMCRUMPLER
CLEARED: A/DCM:TWILLIAMS CGD: ROLSON

VZCZCADI121
RR RUEHC RUEHGV RUCNWTO RUCPDOC
DE RUEHAD #0845/01 0501351
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 191351Z FEB 03
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8471
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0504
RUCNWTO/WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 000845 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/PPR AND EB/IPC FOR WILSON
STATE PASS USTR - ALVAREZ AND BUNTIN
STATE PASS LOC - TEPP
USDOC FOR USPTO - URBAN
USDOC FOR LASHLEY
GENEVA PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/08
TAGS: PREL KIPR ETRD TC
SUBJECT: EMBASSY ABU DHABI COMMENTS ON DRAFT 2003
SPECIAL 301 REVIEW
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ABU DHABI 000845

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARP, NEA/PPR AND EB/IPC FOR WILSON
STATE PASS USTR - ALVAREZ AND BUNTIN
STATE PASS LOC - TEPP
USDOC FOR USPTO - URBAN
USDOC FOR LASHLEY
GENEVA PASS USTR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/19/08
TAGS: PREL KIPR ETRD TC
SUBJECT: EMBASSY ABU DHABI COMMENTS ON DRAFT 2003
SPECIAL 301 REVIEW

1.(U) Classified by Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba for
reasons 1.5 (b) and (d).


2. (C) Summary and comment: The UAE Government is
at the forefront of protecting intellectual property
rights (IPR) in the region. As part and parcel
of its development into a regional trading center,
the UAE Government has made the protection of
intellectual property a priority in recent years.
New copyright, trademark and patent laws, passed in
2002, provide high levels of protection for U.S.
intellectual property, while an agreement -- brokered
by the Embassy in 2002 -- continues to provide
TRIPs-plus levels of protection for U.S.
pharmaceuticals. Additionally, the UAE has undertaken
a massive public relations and enforcement effort
against counterfeiting and routinely destroys copy-cat
goods in large public events. UAE authorities cooperate
closely with U.S. business to prevent counterfeiting of
trademarked goods. Based on its solid record on IPR
protection, we strongly recommend that the UAE remain
off the Special 301 Watchlist this year. End summary
and comment.

--------------
UAEG Enacts Laws To Protect IPR in 2002
--------------


3. (U) The UAEG repealed previous copyright, trademark,
and patent laws and issued improved legislation in 2002
in harmony with international standards and exceeding
the UAE's TRIPs obligations. The new Copyright Law,
enacted in July 2002, is the product of a prolonged
dialog between the UAEG and international organizations
such as WIPO and the WTO. It grants protections to
authors of creative works and expands the categories of
protected works, to include computer programs, software,
databases, and other digital works.


4. (U) The Business Software Alliance (BSA) issued a
press release in July that the "new copyright law confirms
the UAE as the region's standard bearer of intellectual
property rights...The regular view and revision of
copyright laws sends a clear message to international
companies that these laws are real and are part of an

active policy to protect IP rights [in the UAE]."


5. (U) The UAE's new Trademark Law, also issued in July
2002, confirms that the UAE will follow the International
Classification System and that one trademark can be
registered in a number of classes. The new law provides
that the owner of the registration shall enjoy exclusive
rights to the use of the trademark as registered and can
prevent others from using an identical or similar mark on
similar, identical or related products and services if
it causes confusion among consumers.


6. (U) The UAE Government published the official and
final version in November 2002 of the long-awaited Patent
Law. Specifically, the Patent Law provides for -- in
accordance with the UAE's TRIPs obligations -- national
treatment for IP owners in other WTO Member States, both
product and process patent protection, and enforcement
of IPR whereby civil and criminal procedures and remedies
may be employed.

-------------- --------------
Sustained Patent Protection For U.S. Pharmaceuticals
-------------- --------------


7. (C) In March 2002, the UAE Ministries of Health and
Finance and Industry conveyed in writing their acceptance
of PhRMA's "best and final offer" under which 25 U.S.
patent-protected, innovative products would be afforded
5-year data exclusivity protection. Under the terms of
the agreement which PhRMA and the UAEG accepted, all
other U.S.-patented drugs, whether pending registration
or not, will be given data exclusivity protection in
the UAE market equal to the patent term -- a major
commitment which puts the UAE well beyond its minimal
WTO TRIPs obligations.


8. (C) The written assurances of the Ministries of
Health and Finance ensure that no/no unauthorized copies
of U.S. patent-protected medicines will be registered in
the UAE. That agreement is still holding firm and, in
fact, the UAE has even refused to register copies of
the 18 innovative pharmaceutical products that PhRMA
agreed to allow local firm Julphar to produce in order
to secure that agreement.
The bottom- line remains that U.S. pharmaceutical products
continue to enjoy TRIPs-plus levels of protection here.

--------------
Continuing Crackdown On Counterfeit Goods
--------------


9. (U) The UAE authorities are well aware of the danger
to legitimate commerce posed by counterfeiting, particularly
of safety-related items such as automobile spare parts and
tires. The government has conducted a public awareness
campaign warning consumers of the dangers of buying fake
automotive components, and industry has also been active
in this respect. A few examples include:
-- The Dubai and Sharjah Police have conducted a series
of raids on "chop-shop" counterfeit parts distributors
during the last year.
-- The Dubai Chamber of Commerce (DCCI) has established
a Fake Parts Committee regarding counterfeit auto parts,
in partnership with local auto-industry representatives
including General Motors, AC Delco, Daimler Chrysler.
More generally, the DCCI has embarked on a publicity
campaign to heighten consumer awareness regarding
counterfeit auto parts.

-- Sharjah Municipality has destroyed empty boxes that
contained international trademarks of car spare parts
(e.g., the empty boxes were to be filled with bogus
parts, deceiving the consumer). Sharjah Municipality
has also established an emergency phone hotline to
report fake spare parts.


10. (U) Regular articles in the local dailies of raids
and arrests of counterfeiters indicate that the authorities
take seriously their responsibility to reduce the trade
of other counterfeit consumer products, as well. Penalties
for IPR violations include destruction of the counterfeit
goods, destruction of the counterfeiting equipment, fines,
imprisonment, and publication of judgment. The following
are a few recent examples:

-- The Gulf News reported in August 2002 that raids by the
UAE Ministry of Information led to the conviction of 34 IT
resellers in Dubai who were dealing in illegal software.
The authorities confiscated 47 PCs, which were loaded with
copies of Windows 98, Windows XP, Office XP, and Adobe
Photoshop. Dubai police raided several warehouses and
seized equipment used for copying software CDs and more
than 205,000 pirated CDs.

-- Dubai Customs in July 2002 destroyed 1.5 million pieces
of counterfeit CDs, 16 tons of illegal medicines, 840
satellite decoder cards and 1,377 cartons of fake
cigarettes. According to press reports, customs
inspectors discovered the items while they were passing
through either cargo or passenger inspections at various
air, sea and land entry points across Dubai. Dubai
Customs inspectors undertake continuous training programs
in order to identify suspected illegal activities and use
the latest equipment for uncovering and seizing
counterfeit goods.

-- In July 2002, Sharjah Municipality confiscated and
destroyed 799 cartons of fake cigarettes carrying the
Marlboro trademark. Sharjah officials said that, in some
cases, the agent notifies the Municipality about the
location of fake products and sometimes people report
offenders. The Municipality also employs undercover
agents, disguised as customers, to visit shops and seek
out counterfeit goods.

-- Sharjah Economic Department forced 14 outlets to
remove the word "Mercedes" and the trademark three
pointed star in a circle logo associated with the
Mercedes brand. Sharjah police closed some of the outlets
pending their compliance.

--------------
Ensuring IPR Protection For The Long-Term
--------------


11. (U) The UAE Government is examining ways to further
reduce the flow of counterfeit products and trademark
infringement in the country. To this end, the National
Anti-Fraud Committee was established in 2001 under the
aegis of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The
Committee's scope of responsibility was broadened in 2002
to allow for the study of commercial fraud and
counterfeit and imitation trademarks, and requires that
the Committee propose combating measures on an annual
basis.


12. (U) The Emirate of Dubai established the "Dubai
Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone
(TECOM)," which contains Dubai Internet City and Dubai
Media City, and has been at the forefront of protecting
digital media. In February 2002, Dubai issued the
"Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law," which is
modeled on the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce
adopted by the United Nations. A similar federal law is
under consideration by the UAE Ministry of Justice that
would address copyright violations on the Internet, in
particular.


13. (U) In October 2002, Sharjah sponsored a conference
to encourage dialogue between IPR experts and the local
business community regarding the value of intellectual
property assets and how they can be tools for economic
growth. IPR experts also discussed how local businesses
could utilize patent laws to develop new business and
import/export technology through licensing. Not to be
outdone, Dubai will host a conference on "Middle East Law
in the Internet Age" in March 2003. Designed for
intellectual property and technology lawyers, the
conference will explore recent legal developments in the
area of electronic transactions, intellectual property
and the Internet.

Wahba