The Legitimacy of Plain Packaging Under International Intellectual Property Law: Why There is No Right to Use a Trademark Under Either the Paris Convention or the Trips Agreement

PUBLIC HEALTH AND PLAIN PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES: LEGAL ISSUES, A. Mitchell, T. Voon and J. Liberman, eds., Edward Elgar, 2012

22 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2012 Last revised: 10 Feb 2016

Mark Davison

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 21, 2012

Abstract

The Australian government has passed legislation for ‘plain packaging’ of tobacco products. The legislation will prohibit the use of logos, graphics and colour schemes on tobacco products. It will dictate the manner in which word trademarks are used and the colour of the packaging will be a drab brown. This chapter considers the arguments that there is a right to use trademarks under the Paris Convention or the TRIPS Agreement. In doing so, it also engages in a detailed analysis of Article 20 of TRIPS. It explains why no right of use exists under either Paris or TRIPS and the very limited role that Article 20 of TRIPS has in the context of the debate surrounding the legislation.

Keywords: TRIPS, trademarks, tobacco, plain packaging, WTO

Suggested Citation

Davison, Mark, The Legitimacy of Plain Packaging Under International Intellectual Property Law: Why There is No Right to Use a Trademark Under Either the Paris Convention or the Trips Agreement (February 21, 2012). PUBLIC HEALTH AND PLAIN PACKAGING OF CIGARETTES: LEGAL ISSUES, A. Mitchell, T. Voon and J. Liberman, eds., Edward Elgar, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2009115

Mark Davison (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

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