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January 16, 2013

Managing IP: Tobacco Plain Packaging May Spread in Asia

Managing Intellectual Property

A recent Managing Intellectual Property article, “Why Asia is set for more tobacco plain packaging rules,” examines how countries in Asia have reacted to Australia’s new plain packaging law and the steps they have taken to restrict IP rights over tobacco products.

A large section of the article discusses Thailand’s approach in light of the proposed Tobacco Consumption Control Act, with a detailed evaluation of the draft provisions after an interview with Alan Adcock, partner and deputy director in the intellectual property team at Tilleke & Gibbins.

In the article, Alan highlights the different sections of the draft act that regulate the visual appearance of the packaging and stipulate that “no one can use a tobacco name or mark or the name of a tobacco manufacturer on any non-tobacco products,” which would constitute a severe attack on the registered trademark rights of tobacco companies. He also notes how the industry’s voice has been marginalized since the relevant regulations will be determined by a directing commission which is “made up of basically everyone except the tobacco manufacturers,” while the bill has been driven by the interests of NGOs and the Ministry of Public Health, without regard to input from the business community.

To read the full article, please visit the Managing IP website.