Acquisition of Intellectual Property Rights: Australia's Plain Tobacco Packaging Dispute
European Intellectual Property Review, 2013, vol 2, pp 113-118
8 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2012 Last revised: 11 Jun 2013
Date Written: November 24, 2012
Australia’s standardised tobacco packaging legislation will be fully implemented on 1 December 2012 but remains subject to challenge in the World Trade Organization and under the Hong Kong – Australia Bilateral Investment Treaty. This world-first scheme has proved controversial, particularly given its impact on tobacco trademarks. The recent decision by the High Court of Australia rejecting a constitutional challenge to the legislation is therefore significant and sheds light on the nature of trademark rights. The Court’s ruling that so-called plain packaging does not amount to an acquisition of property strengthens the likelihood of adoption of this kind of measure elsewhere.
Keywords: tobacco, trademarks, intellectual property, constitution, acquisition
JEL Classification: K19, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation