An article analyzing the impact on trade and public health of Australia’s plain packaging law was published by Manager Online on August 16, 2012. The article refers to the Australian High Court ruling, in favor of the Parliament, in a lawsuit by tobacco companies, which concluded that the new cigarette plain-packaging law was not unconstitutional. While the compatibility of this ruling with the WTO and international law is yet to be assessed, over 24 countries have raised concerns on this issue, the economic consequences for developing countries, the impact it may have on IP infringement in the developed countries, the effect on barriers to trade, and even the threat of plain packaging expanding to other products.
The article further quotes Darani Vachanavuttivong, co-managing partner and managing director of the Tilleke & Gibbins intellectual property department, who provides expertise and insight into the direct impact on trademark owners with reference to Thai legislation, and how plain packaging would “deprive trademark owners of their valuable intellectual property.” Darani also describes the likelihood that “trademark owners would have to be compensated accordingly for any expropriation of their intellectual property as a result of plain packaging.”
To read the article (in Thai), please click on the link below.