09.11.11

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Cablegate: US Reaction to Minister Ewa Bjorling Pushing for EU Patent, Pressure on Slovenia to Jump Along

Posted in Cablegate, Europe, Patents at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Eva Bjorling
Eva Bjorling, photo by http://politik.in2pic.com

Summary: The EU Patent and ACTA are talked about in a year and a half old cable, Slovenia is also pushed to step into alignment

AS we continue to unearth cables about the EU Patent, we discover who played what role exactly. We also see the US politicians acting as cheerleaders for the change, which can in due course give more power to the USPTO and by inference to US-based corporations working in Europe. There is a price to pay and the payer is every citizen who buys stuff, ranging from medicine to food or even electronic gadgets. The patent system simply makes the rich even richer.

The following Cablegate cable speaks about EU Patent “breakthrough” and ACTA. Well, this does not necessarily suggest that one is used to promote the other, but a correlation is drawn and the two are brought into alignment in the same cable which shows US sentiments towards Sweden’s behaviour, commending the country for becoming more of a so-called ‘IPR’ maximalist, i.e. supporting monopolies as cornerstone doctrine. Here it is in full:


VZCZCXRO5503
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHSM #0776/01 3481349
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141349Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4979
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STOCKHOLM 000776 
 
STATE FOR JOELLEN URBAN 
 
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR DAVID WEINER AND KIRA ALVAREZ 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE PLEASE PROTECT 
 
TAGS: KIPR [Intellectual Property Rights], 
EINT [Economic and Commercial Internet], 
ETRD [Foreign Trade], ECON [Economic Conditions], 
PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], SW [Sweden] 
SUBJECT: EU PATENT BREAKTHROUGH DURING SWEDISH PRESIDENCY AND 
GENERAL IPR/INTERNET PIRACY UPDATE 
 
Ref: A) STOCKHOLM 736, B) STOCKHOLM 733, B) STOCKHOLM 676 
 
STOCKHOLM 00000776  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
¶1. (U) Summary:  The EU Competitiveness Council, chaired by Swedish 
Trade Minister Ewa Bjorling, managed to broker a deal after over 40 
years of efforts to agree on a unified EU patent system.   Swedish 
Minister for Communications, Esa Torstensson discussed Swedish 
concerns about the ongoing ACTA negations at a meeting at USTR. 
Sweden is in the process of recruiting a National Coordinator within 
the Swedish Police, who will coordinate IPR related investigations. 
This will greatly facilitate the work for Sweden's two specialist 
prosecutors.  Furthermore, the Police authorities plan to have 
completed the recruitment of the 15 investigative officials during 
the first half of 2010.  Our industry contacts tell us that this is 
the key issue going forward -- far more important than IPRED. 
Notwithstanding, the IRPED-legislation (implementation of the EU 
Enforcement Directive) has spurred a 40 percent increase in DVD 
sales of newly released movies since the law entered into effect on 
April 1, 2009.  End summary. 
 
EU Patent breakthrough 
-------- ------- ----- 
¶2.  (U)  On December 4 the EU Competitiveness Council battled toward 
a so-called 'general approach' on a future patent system, together 
with an agreement on the basis of a draft regulation for European 
Union patents.  The issue has bogged down the European Commission 
and the Council for over 40 years.  Today, the cost of getting an 
EU-wide patent is eleven times that of getting the same protection 
in the U.S.  The Council conclusions also contain the main elements 
of a single European Patent Court that will try cases on both the EU 
patent and existing European patents.  In today's system, patent 
processes for one and the same invention must be conducted 
separately in each Member State.  The establishment of a single 
court could mean annual savings of up to USD 42 billion for European 
companies. 
 
¶3.  (U)  Leading the objections to the Swedish EU Presidency's 
proposal for a general approach was Denmark.  The Danes, though, 
finally withdrew their legalistic objections after it became clear 
that changes to the Swedish proposal would not be acceptable.  The 
Swedish 'general approach' on the EU patent regulation means a real 
breakthrough.  The all important issue of translation will now be 
left for agreement at a "later" date. 
 
¶4.  (U) The agreement paves the way for further discussion, under 
Spanish and other Presidencies, towards a future patent system. 
This would be based on two main pillars.  Firstly, a unified patent 
litigation system with exclusive jurisdiction for civil litigation 
related to patent infringements and validity of EU and European 
patents.  There would be a court of first instance comprised of a 
central division as well as local and regional divisions (in member 
states).  There would also be a court of appeal. 
 
¶5.  (U) Comment.  This is a major accomplishment of the Swedish 
Presidency.  It was the top EU Presidency priority of Trade Minister 
Bjorling.   The issue has been blocked for over 40 years.  Sweden 
made a serious effort to break the deadlock during its EU Presidency 
in 2001.  Although the tricky language question remains, it is 
likely that it will be possible to solve that piece separately. 
This breakthrough on a European patent is a welcome addition to the 
Swedish list of accomplishments during the Presidency, which 
includes the Lisbon treaty, the future leadership, climate 
financing, and the Stockholm Program.  End comment. 
 
ACTA 
---- 
¶6.  (U) Even though Asa Torstensson's Ministry, the Ministry of 
Enterprise, Energy, and Communication has no ACTA negotiations 
mandate; she raised the issue of openness and the ACTA during her 
visit to the United States.  She publicly summarized her trip as 
follows: "I was invited by Peter Cowhey (USTR) to describe the 
experience of the telecom-package, and the debate and discussion 
that followed.  I also described how a similar debate is now gaining 
force, as we discuss the ACTA texts -- without even having seen 
them.  That is why openness for the duration of the discussions is 
so important."   Torstensson further said she had explained to 
Cowhey that it will not be possible to reach ACTA conclusions which 
go beyond the scope of the telecom package.  "I explained the 
complexity of the issue of streamlining efforts on the telecom 
market, and the balance between regulations that ensure internet 
users' interests.  I also said that the telecom package has meant 
reinforcements of the rights of the internet users," Torstensson 
told reporters.  She also told Swedish reporters that she understood 
the U.S. position that negotiations must be kept secret and that she 
felt that Cowhey understood and respected her position as well.  The 
Swedish Justice Ministry has the lead on the ACTA negotiations, and 
ACTA was not the reason for Torstensson's visit but she still 
believes that "it is important to have as open negotiations as 
 
STOCKHOLM 00000776  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
possible.  We then avoid speculations on what the texts include or 
involve.  It is beneficial to all parties if negotiations can take 
place openly, as we then can remove our focus from issues which are 
not part of the ACTA." 
 
Sweden continues to strengthen IPR Enforcement structures 
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ 
¶7.  (SBU) Justice Ministry contacts informally told us about an 
upcoming change of the organization for the two specialist 
prosecutors with national IPR competence.  The two will work under 
the International Prosecutors' Chamber at the Prosecutor General's 
office, together with the Specialist Unit for Corruption issues and 
the Internal Controls Unit.  This organizational change is much 
welcomed by the rights-holders organizations.  Furthermore, Swedish 
police are in the final stages of recruiting a National Coordinator, 
who will be responsible for channeling and prioritizing IPR related 
investigations.  This will have a great impact on the effectiveness 
of the prosecutors.  Another key part of the puzzle is the 
recruitment of additional investigative officials.  The Swedes have 
told as that they intend to have 15 dedicated investigative 
officials in place by the end of the first half of 2010.  A close 
contact at the Anti-Piracy Bureau told us that "this is all that 
matters now, IPRED and its effects are nothing compared to this." 
 
IPRED legislation works 
----- ------ ------ ---- 
¶8.  (U)  The Sodertorns District Court decided on December 4 that 
ISP Telia is obliged to hand over the identity of the customer that 
has been operating the website Swetorrent where thousands of IPR 
protected works have been made available (illegally) to 
approximately 20,000 users.  A number of Swedish movie corporations 
have, with the help of The Swedish Anti- Piracy bureau, requested 
that Telia hand over information about the identity of the persons 
behind the IP number which operates the Swetorrent site.  Swedish 
Anti-Piracy Bureau has previously warned the website operator but 
the operator continued its operation.  "It is no longer possible to 
protect illegal activity behind an IP number.  Today's decision 
shows that it is the owner of the copyright protected material who 
will be protected rather than the perpetrator," says Sara Lindback, 
Legal Counsel at the Swedish Anti Piracy Bureau, following the 
decision. 
 
¶91.  (U)  This is the second District Court ruling where ISPs have 
been forced to handover information on IP users.  The previous 
decision was turned over on appeal and is currently appealed to the 
Swedish Supreme Court, which has ordered that the ISP is not allowed 
to destroy information related to the suspected IP number. 
 
IPRED legislation effects felt 
------------------------------- 
¶10.  (U)  As previously reported, the IPRED legislation may have 
caused ISPs to remove IP numbers sooner rather than later, but there 
have also been benefits.  In Sweden sales of newly released DVDs 
have increased by 40 percent since the IPRED legislation went into 
effect on April 1, 2009.  According to the owner of the legal 
downloading site for movies, Film2home, downloads of movies have 
increased six-fold. 
 
¶11.  (U)  Although 40 percent is a huge number, the increase in 
sales might not be entirely a result of IPRED regulations.  The new 
movie "Men that Hate Women" have sold in 300 000, which is unusually 
high for any newly released movie in Sweden. 
 
¶12.  (U)  The Music Business is also experiencing an increase in 
sales; 18 percent during the first nine months of 2009.  The sale of 
hard copies increased by 9 percent whereas digital sales increased 
by 80 percent.  During 2008 music sales fell by 7 percent. 
 
¶13.  (U)  Other IPR news in brief 
 
--Portlane tracker still up 
 
Stockholm District Court decided not to order Internet Service 
Provider (ISP) Portlane to remove its tracker pending a legal 
hearing.  "To already prior to the legal hearing order the removal 
of a tracker would create a too great burden on ISPs," Jonas 
Forzelius (legal counsel for Portlane) explained following the 
decision. 
 
-- Voddler gets competition as another free streaming movie site is 
launched 
 
As previously reported, Voddler has been well received in Sweden and 
internet users are lining up to get access.  However, their instant 
success as a result of being the only service provider that provides 
movies without a cost may be threatened.  Another Entertainment 
Service Provider, HDMT.net, also providing streamed movies without a 
 
STOCKHOLM 00000776  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
cost was recently launched.  The site collects and compiles movies 
and series which are already available online, and stream them over 
their services.  The legality of the service has been questioned. 
 
BARZUN


This leads nicely into the next cable, which comes from Slovenia. We previously wrote about or alluded to Slovenia’s stance on the patent question in [1, 2, 3]. The following cable is titled “Slovenia – 2008 Special 301 Review – Recommendation Against Inclusion On Watchlist” and this points out that: “While pipeline protection is not part of the GATT/TRIPS provisions, Slovenia is working towards harmonizing its procedures with the EU Patent Protection Law.”

Well, further down it addresses lists of shame like the one Argentina and Brazil found themselves in. “Post recommends against including Slovenia in the Special 301 Watch List,” it concludes. “In general, the GOS is meeting its obligations under TRIPS and the 24 other treaties on intellectual property and patents to which it is party. With membership in the EU, there is added pressure to conform to European norms, Post judges that Slovenia is making progress and will continue to do so in good faith, even if in some areas it has yet to achieve its goals.”

Here is the Cablegate cable in full (marked “SENSITIVE”):



VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLJ #0081/01 0521324
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211324Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6466
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1851
UNCLAS LJUBLJANA 000081 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NCE TYEAGER, EB/TPP/IPE JBOGER 
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR JENNIFER CHOE GROVES, 
USDOC/ITA/MAC/OIPR CASSIE PETERS, FCS VIENNA FOR CQUINLIVAN 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], ETRD [Foreign Trade], 
KIPR [Intellectual Property Rights], SI [Slovenia] 
SUBJECT: SLOVENIA - 2008 SPECIAL 301 REVIEW - 
RECOMMENDATION AGAINST INCLUSION ON WATCHLIST 
 
REF: STATE 09475 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
 1.  (SBU) Slovenian legislation on intellectual property rights 
(IPR) and data protection is fully aligned with EU legislation, 
TRIPS, WIPO, and other ratified international treaties.  In 
practice, U.S. pharmaceutical companies have access to the Slovene 
market.  Recent efforts by the Government of Slovenia (GOS) to 
balance the health-care budget, curb inflation, and reduce 
government spending have posed some problems for "innovative" drug 
producers.  But the GOS has been responsive to commercial concerns 
and it appears that the long-term impact of the health legislation 
will be to expand the availability of drugs, including innovative 
drugs, to the Slovene public.  The Ministry of Health's (MOH) 
incorporation of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of 
America (PhRMA) and Post's pricing concerns in the pricing 
regulation implemented in 2007 and the omission of the therapeutic 
reference pricing (TRP) from the Medicine Act submitted by the MOH 
in February 2008 are both positive signs.  The MOH intends to 
implement the EU Transparency Directive, but has cited limited 
resources as the main reason for the delay.  As well as working with 
PhRMA to address its concerns, over the last few years, Post has 
been cooperating with the GOS to provide training for judges, 
prosecutors, and staff at the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office 
(SIPO) to help address the challenges of the overburdened courts and 
strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation of IPR protection.  Post believes GOS 
cooperation will continue to increase, and recommends that Slovenia 
not be included on the Special 301 Watch List.  END SUMMARY. 
 
PHRMA CONCERNS 
-------------- 
 
¶2.  (U) ENFORCEMENT/COURT PROCEDURES:  PhRMA's continued complaint 
about slow court procedures in Slovenia is well-founded but does not 
reflect the progress that Slovenia has made in the past few years. 
The Ministry of Justice's Lukenda Project, started in 2005 to 
eliminate the judicial backlog, has made inroads into the backlog by 
increasing the auxiliary court staff by 500, upgrading courtroom 
technology, and streamlining small claims cases.  Slovenia has been 
steadily decreasing its court backlog every year.  Since 2005, the 
backlog has decreased by more than 18 percent.  While the GOS might 
be late in meeting its targets of eliminating judicial backlog by 
2010, cutting the average processing time of a case from 18 months 
to 6 months, and implementing alternative dispute resolution 
mechanisms, it has made progress.  SIPO acknowledges deficiencies in 
Slovenia's legal system, but denies that current legislation favors 
domestic (pharmaceutical or other) industry.  In a meeting with 
emboff in May 2007, local PhRMA members concurred with SIPO's 
statement. 
 
¶3.  (U) To help support the efforts of the GOS, Post funded and 
coordinated several training programs for Slovene judges, 
prosecutors, and police in 2007.  In 2008, Post plans to work 
cooperatively with the Slovenian Ministry of Justice and the State 
Prosecutor's Office to train judges, investigators, and prosecutors. 
 Post believes that providing U.S. expertise will help to create a 
more efficient judicial system, improving the speed of case 
adjudication in the courts. 
 
¶4. (U) FREE CHOICE OF EXPERTS:  Although PhRMA asserts that experts 
are chosen to favor local companies, courts generally choose experts 
after consultation with both parties.  It is also possible for the 
court to designate a person or institution which is not considered a 
"court expert," but an expert in the subject nonetheless, including 
a foreign person or institution.  If one of the parties proposes an 
expert, the proposing party must cover the costs associated with the 
proposed expert. 
 
¶5.  (U) PIPELINE PROTECTION:  While pipeline protection is not part 
of the GATT/TRIPS provisions, Slovenia is working towards 
harmonizing its procedures with the EU Patent Protection Law. 
Slovenia introduced patent protection on January 1, 1993.  Prior to 
this, there was no protection either in Slovenia or the former 
Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia of which Slovenia was a part until 
June 25, 1991.   Slovenia introduced the possibility of 
supplementary protection certificates in 1993.  Since May 1, 2004, 
when Slovenia joined the EU, supplementary protection certificates 
have been granted in accordance with European regulations.  Patent 
holders have the possibility to claim prolonged protection for a 
product after the expiration of patent protection. 
 
¶6.  (U) MARKET ACCESS BARRIERS:  The GOS has been focused on 
controlling government spending, lowering inflation, and negotiating 
labor agreements.  The MOH's goal, as part of healthcare reforms, 
was to control healthcare costs.  In January 2007, the MOH adopted 
some changes to drug reimbursement procedures.  Slovenia now employs 
a pricing and reimbursement system based on manufacturer prices for 
drugs in Germany, France, and Austria (previously it used Germany, 
France, and Italy as its reference points), taking into account 
Slovenia's lower GDP.  While PhRMA acknowledges that regulating 
pricing at the manufacturer level increases transparency, it is 
still dissatisfied with the reimbursement procedure.  Post 
understands that Slovenia's program, while perhaps not ideal, is a 
legitimate formula not unlike those used in other EU member states. 
 
¶7.  (U) PRICING:  Slovenia's approach on drug pricing has been an 
effort to find a balance between the use of innovative and generic 
drugs.  Contacts at the MOH have told Post that PhRMA's complaint 
that the government favors domestic producers over foreign was not 
justified and that the pricing measures were not specifically aimed 
at foreign producers.  Post understands that domestic Slovene 
generic producers also are experiencing increased competition with 
the introduction of lower priced generic drugs from India. 
 
¶8.  (U) PhRMA complains that Slovenia is inconsistently and 
non-transparently applying the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) 
and Defined Daily Dose (DDD) systems.  Post understands that the MOH 
uses the ATC/DDD as indicators, not exclusive determinants, of 
price.  Contacts at the Ministry tell Post that there is no law or 
legal procedure prohibiting physicians from prescribing any drug 
approved for use in Slovenia.  However, the system will only 
reimburse up to the value of the lowest-priced drug on the 
Interchangeable Drug List (IDL).  This system would not affect any 
new, innovative drugs brought to market before the patent protection 
period ran out and generics became competitive. 
 
¶9.  (U)  The MOH has told Post in the past that the changes in 
regulations have all been adopted in order to control healthcare 
costs and make decision-making more transparent.  These decisions 
have significantly decreased the annual percentage rise in the 
Government's expenditures on healthcare.  Post understands that the 
Ministry sees this current period as one of adjustment.  Former 
Health Minister Andrej Brucan, as he unveiled the new pricing 
regulations in January 2007, stated that the MOH plans to use the 
increased savings to improve health services and to spend more on 
innovative drugs. 
 
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 
--------------------- 
 
¶10.  (U) Slovenia has enacted highly advanced and comprehensive 
legislation for the protection of intellectual property that fully 
reflects the most recent intellectual developments in the TRIPS 
Agreement (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property) and 
various EU directives.  Slovenia is a full member of the TRIPS 
Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World 
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Slovenia has ratified 
the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), the WIPO Performances and 
Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), and the Cyber Crime Convention. 
 
¶11.  (U) Slovenia's Intellectual Protection Office actively 
participates in the Intellectual Property Working Party of the 
Council of the EU, the Trademark Committee and other EU working 
bodies in formulation of new EU legislation.  The Copyright and 
Related Rights Act amended in 2001 and 2004 deals with all fields of 
modern copyright and related rights law, including traditional works 
and their authors, computer programs, audiovisual works, as well as 
rental and lending rights.  The act also takes into account new 
technologies such as storage and electronic memory, original 
databases, satellite broadcasting, and cable re-transmission.  The 
2004 harmonization with the EU legislation introduced a new system 
of collective management of intellectual rights following the EU's 
latest directive. 
 
¶12.  (U) Slovenian legislation provides for different legal measures 
within the framework of civil, criminal and administrative law, 
which may be used by holders of intellectual property rights to 
defend their interests.  The Industrial Property Act (IPA), the Act 
on Litigation Procedure (ALP), and the Act on Enforcement of 
Judgments in Civil Matters and Insurance (AEJCMI) are generally used 
in civil litigation and for cases involving infringement of 
industrial property rights.  In 2007, SIPO revamped its website so 
that both domestic and foreign parties can access the most current 
information regarding intellectual property issues. 
 
DATA PROTECTION 
--------------- 
 
¶13.  (U) Slovenia has a comprehensive legal framework for the 
protection of intellectual property rights.  Slovenia signed the WTO 
Uruguay Round Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual 
Property Rights (TRIPs) and has implemented those commitments.  The 
number of intellectual property complaints has been quite low, 
although U.S. industry representatives have raised some concerns 
about the pace and scope of action taken by the government against 
infringement. 
 
¶14.  (U) The 1994 Law on Courts gives the District Court of 
Ljubljana exclusive subject matter jurisdiction over intellectual 
property disputes.  The aim of the law is to ensure specialization 
of the judges and the speed of relevant proceedings.  Concerning the 
TRIPS Agreement's enforcement provision, Slovene law provides for a 
number of civil legal sanctions, including injunctive relief and the 
removal of the infringement, the seizure and destruction of illegal 
copies and devices, the publication of the judgment in the media, 
compensatory and punitive damages, border (customs) measures, and 
the securing of evidence and other provisional measures without the 
prior notification and hearing of the other party.  Furthermore, 
these infringements also constitute a misdemeanor with fines ranging 
from EUR 417 (USD 613) to EUR 41,729 (USD 61,000) for legal persons 
and a range of fines, from EUR 41.73 (USD 61) to EUR 2,086 (USD 
3,066), for supervisors of individual offenders provided that the 
reported offenses are not criminal in nature.  (Note.  All USD 
amounts have been calculated at 0.680 Euro to the Dollar.  End Note) 
 In such a case, the Slovenian Criminal Code would apply, which may 
result in fines or, in extreme cases, imprisonment. 
 
COUNTERFEITING/PIRACY 
--------------------- 
 
¶15.  (U) The GOS does not have significant issues regarding piracy 
of optical media (music CDs, video CDs, CD-ROMs, and DVDs); 
unauthorized procurement/use of computer software; counterfeit and 
pirated goods.  Since the enactment of the Law on Copyright and 
Related Rights Act, there have been relatively few reported 
prosecutions for infringement violations.  Most notable are cases of 
computer software piracy.  In 2002, the Koper District Prosecution 
Office successfully completed a case against a small computer 
company, which had illegally installed software on its customers' 
hard disk drives in 1997.  In January 2004, a long-running software 
piracy court case ended with a jail sentence and monetary fine. 
Since piracy prosecution is still in the early stages of 
implementation, Slovenia has dedicated resources to the training of 
prosecutors and public authorities.  Prosecutors did not file any 
new cases in 2007.  Slovenia continues to address the preservation 
of evidence in infringement procedures and border measures by 
amending existing legislation.  Moreover, in 1997, the Ministry of 
Culture established the Intellectual Property Fund, the Slovene 
Copyright Agency, and the Anti-Piracy Association of Software 
Dealers (BSA) to combat the problem of piracy in a collective 
manner. 
 
¶16.  (U) The GOS takes its situation on the border of the EU's 
Schengen zone very seriously.  Since joining the Schengen zone 
December 21, 2007, the GOS has strengthened its border security. 
The customs officials who once patrolled the Italian, Austrian, and 
Hungarian borders were reassigned to the Croatian borders.  In 2007, 
the Slovenian police did not report counterfeit or pirated goods 
crossing any of Slovenia's borders. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶17.  (U) Post recommends against including Slovenia in the Special 
301 Watch List.  In general, the GOS is meeting its obligations 
under TRIPS and the 24 other treaties on intellectual property and 
patents to which it is party.  With membership in the EU, there is 
added pressure to conform to European norms, Post judges that 
Slovenia is making progress and will continue to do so in good 
faith, even if in some areas it has yet to achieve its goals.  The 
most significant problem, by far, is an overburdened court system, 
which is also the target of many calls for reform from all sectors 
of society.  Post's success in facilitating judicial training should 
also help Slovenia in its efforts to improve the efficiency of its 
courts.  In addition to the IPR complaints, PhRMA has pointed to the 
problem of market access and drug cost reimbursement policies in the 
Slovene health system.  There is agreement on all sides that the 
reimbursement mechanism employed by the Slovene health system has 
disadvantaged some innovative drug producers in some categories in 
the short run.  This development, however, should be viewed in the 
context of the overall need for the GOS to balance its budget, bring 
down inflation, and root itself in the euro zone, which it joined in 
January 2007.  Post believes that the GOS did not undertake these 
measures with a goal of favoring domestic producers of generic drugs 
- according to the GOS, Slovenia's system is similar to the majority 
of EU members' systems. 
 
¶18.  (SBU) Post hopes this information will be helpful in 
stimulating a well-informed discussion of PhRMA's claims. 
Post is committed to promoting a fair, open, and transparent market 
for U.S. pharmaceuticals.  Post is in regular contact with the local 
PhRMA and has engaged successfully with the MOH on pricing issues 
and plans to continue to engage the GOS.  In 2008, utilizing lessons 
learned when PhRMA and Post successfully engaged the GOS to ensure a 
fairer pricing plan, PhRMA and Post worked together to proactively 
to persuade the government not to submit the therapeutic drug 
pricing (TRP) legislation to the Slovene Parliament.  Post plans to 
continue to promote fair market access and find the most effective 
ways in which PhRMA and Post can lobby the GOS.  We look forward to 
engaging in further dialogue on this issue, and, as always, we 
welcome guidance from both USTR and the Department.  END COMMENT. 
 
SHELTON

Got to love the acronym “PhRMA”. As we pointed out before, just as “terrorism” and “child porn” are often being used to pass laws that have nothing to do with those dog whistles, the “drug” (or counterfeit drug) dog whistle is often used to ban generics and in some cases, as in the case of ACTA, is is being used by Hollywood and other “IPR” maximalists to pass laws that have nothing to do with medicine. They use the “life” propaganda to piggyback their way into morality in pursuit of law changes.

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    IRC logs for Saturday, December 04, 2021



  9. EPO-Bribed IAM 'Media' Has Praised Quality, Which Even EPO Staff (Examiners) Does Not Praise

    It's easy to see something is terribly wrong when the people who do the actual work do not agree with the media's praise of their work (a praise motivated by a nefarious, alternate agenda)



  10. Tux Machines is 17.5 Years Old Today

    Tux Machines -- our 'sister site' for GNU/Linux news -- started in 2004. We're soon entering 2022.



  11. Approaching 100

    We'll soon have 100 files in Git; if that matters at all...



  12. Improving Gemini by Posting IRC Logs (and Scrollback) as GemText

    Our adoption of Gemini and of GemText increases; with nearly 100,000 page requests in the first 3 days of Decembe (over gemini://) it’s clear that the growing potential of the protocol is realised, hence the rapid growth too; Gemini is great for self-hosting, which is in turn essential when publishing suppressed and controversial information (subject to censorship through blackmail and other ‘creative’ means)



  13. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  14. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  15. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  17. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  18. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  19. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  20. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  21. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  22. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  24. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  25. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  28. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  29. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  30. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day


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