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In news not unrelated to Israel's technological prowess, Israel should shortly be removed from the U.S. blacklist of countries that fail to protect copyrights adequately.

That doesn't mean Israel is in the clear. It moves to the list of countries that the U.S. is monitoring for such violations, say sources in the pharmaceuticals market.

The agreement was reached last week in Washington in talks headed, on the Israeli side, by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Director General Sharon Kedmi.

Israel's pharmaceuticals market was the chief culprit in landing Israel on the blacklist. Israeli law allows makers of generic drugs to export their products before the patents protecting the drugs in Israel's markets have expired, as long as the patent has expired in one of the markets appearing on a fixed list. The progress achieved by Kedmi and his delegation is an agreement to scale back the number of countries on that list.

At present matters await the Finance Ministry's blessing for the advances made in the negotiations.