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Deputy USTR Sapiro Announces United States and Israel Have Reached an Understanding on Intellectual Property Rights Issues

February 17, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro announced today that the United States and Israel have reached an understanding that resolves several longstanding issues with Israel's intellectual property rights (IPR) regime for pharmaceutical products. These negotiations, opened in 2008 in connection with a Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review, closed this week after an understanding was reached on improving data protection, the term of patents on pharmaceuticals, and provisions on publication of patent applications in Israel.

"The United States and Israel have today strengthened their already close partnership through resolution of a longstanding trade issue of great importance to both sides," Ambassador Sapiro said. "I am pleased that we have found a path forward that will improve protection of intellectual property rights and help make innovative and generic medicines available to families and individuals in Israel."

This understanding both improves IPR protection in Israel for U.S. stakeholders and ensures that innovative and generic medicines are available in Israel as soon as possible. Both governments have worked closely with U.S. and Israeli pharmaceutical industries to develop and build consensus for solutions to these issues.

In recognition of Israel's agreement to move forward on legislation to amend its IPR laws, and once the appropriate legislation is submitted to the Knesset, the U.S. Trade Representative will move Israel from the Special 301 Priority Watch List to the Watch List. In addition, as soon as the legislation is fully implemented, Israel will be moved off the Special 301 list altogether.

You can read the text of the agreement here.