Sep 202014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/08/06MANILA3599.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA3599 2006-08-29 08:20 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO3701
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3599 2410820
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290820Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2694
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 003599

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR BWEISEL AND DKATZ
USDOC FOR 4430/ITA/MAC/SBERLINGUETTE
USDOC PASS USPTO FOR PFOWLER
BANGKOK FOR DOJ CHRIS SONDERBY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV KIPR RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES REORGANIZES IP TASK FORCE

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED – NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION – PROTECT
ACCORDINGLY

——-
SUMMARY
——-

¶1. (U) The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) is again
reorganizing its Intellectual Property (IP) Task Force to be chaired
by Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Pedrito Rances who previously
headed the same Task Force in 2005. Rights holders expressed
concern over the decision which they say may further delay current
cases by several months. The Intellectual Property Office says the
reorganization will increase the size of the Task Force and include
more senior-level members with more judicial experience. This
reorganization is the third in less than three years. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (U) The previous Task Force, headed by Assistant Chief State
Prosecutor Leah Tanodra-Armamento, was created in December 2005 as
part of the GRP’s efforts to demonstrate progress on IPR issues
during the Special 301 out-of-cycle review. The 2005 reorganization
stemmed from complaints that the Task Force headed by Attorney
Rances included too many senior level prosecutors who sat on a
number of different task forces. As a result, their interests were
spread too thin and they did not have enough time to devote
exclusively to IPR cases. DOJ has not specified whether the new
members will serve concurrently on various task forces. In
addition, the 2005 reorganization appointed an undersecretary to
supervise the Task Force in order to establish accountability at a
more senior-level. The recent Department Order now eliminates this
requirement.

¶2. (SBU) Intellectual Property Office Deputy Director General Paj
Avenido told econoff on August 18 that he was not privy to the
discussions on the reorganization but said the IPO is generally
pleased with the decision since the members of the previous Task
Force were all junior prosecutors. The new Task Force will be
larger and consist of senior-level prosecutors with more experience,
although Avenido noted they may not be experienced in IP cases. IPO
Director General Adrian Cristobal has not been available for
comment.

¶3. (U) Some private sector contacts consider the reorganization a
set-back. One IP lawyer representing several US clients said his
law firm will essentially need to start over with a new group of
prosecutors unfamiliar with their issues. He noted dozens of cases
pending with DOJ for several months, which have not moved forward
for various reasons, and which will now need to be re-argued from
the beginning, causing several more months of delay before the cases
can reach trial. “We are right back where we were one year ago,” he
said.

¶4. (SBU) The reasoning behind the reorganization is not clear, but
several contacts indicate it may be based more on internal politics
at DOJ and less on the actual performance of Armamento’s group. The
amount of foreign training and political attention the IP Task Force
was getting may have contributed by making those positions more
attractive to senior officials, contacts said. While DOJ has
ordered the reorganization of the Task Force, it has not yet
specified the size or composition of the new Task Force.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶5. (SBU) Frequent reorganization at DOJ does little to promote
confidence among IP rights holders. The USG invested in several IP
training programs for Attorney Armamento and key members of the
previous IP Task Force in order to help provide specialized
knowledge on IP issues. Armamento was becoming an excellent contact
with a solid understanding of IPR and a commitment to improve
prosecution of IP cases. Attorney Rances, the new Task Force Chair,
understands IP issues to some extent since he has worked on them
before, but there was little progress made during his previous
tenure.

   

 

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