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
Date Written: February 21, 2012
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
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