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05ANKARA1329 2005-03-11 12:42:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

Turkish Patent Institute on Pharmaceuticals

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1. (SBU) Summary: The President of the Turkish Patent
Institute supports the idea of patent linkage and will
work on a system to ensure that the Health Ministry was
informed of valid patents for pharmaceuticals. He
defended Turkey's new data exclusivity regulation and
stated that there is no prospect of providing pipeline
protection. End Summary.

2. (SBU) In a March 8 meeting, Econoff raised a range of
intellectual property concerns, including patent
linkage, the January 2005 data exclusivity regulation,
and pipeline protection, with Yusuf Balci, President of
the Turkish Patent Institute (TPI). Econoff related
that the Health Ministry had told us a system was in
place to ensure that the Ministry was informed of valid
patents prior to approving applications for marketing
generic drugs (ref A). Balci responded that TPI
recently sent the Ministry a list of valid
pharmaceuticals patents, but acknowledged that there is
no established mechanism for updating this list. During
the meeting, Balci consulted with TPI staff on various
ways of doing this. He said he would follow up to
implement such a mechanism.

3. (SBU) Econoff delivered ref (B) points on
deficiencies in Turkey's new data exclusivity
regulation. Balci, who appeared to be unfamiliar with
some of the details of the regulation, said that the new
policy represented a compromise between the demands of
research-based and generic producers. However, he said
that future changes in the policy should not be ruled

4. (SBU) Econoff also informed Balci that the USG was
assessing U.S. industry submissions on intellectual
property protection in the context of the Special 301
review. Econoff highlighted PhRMA's assertion that
members' intellectual property-related losses amount to
nearly USD 900 million annually, mostly due to lack of
pipeline protection (ref C). Econoff stated that the
USG supported TRIPS-plus IPR protection, including
pipeline, and asked Balci for his views on this. Balci
replied that Turkey would not implement pipeline
protection because of legal prohibitions on retroactive
application and because it was not required by the TRIPS

5. (SBU) Noting that the U.S. and Turkey took opposing
sides on other IPR issues, including traditional
knowledge and geographical indications, Balci urged the
USG to factor in other views, particularly from the
developing world, on these matters. Econoff responded
that the USG IPR policy has been responsive to
developing country concerns, highlighting particularly
U.S. leadership on the issue of TRIPS and public health
emergencies. Edelman