Bans and Restrictions on the Use of Trademarks and Consumers' Health
4/2014 Intellectual Property Quarterly
22 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 6, 2014
The article analyses to what extent the use of brands on packaging in the field of tobacco, alcohol and food can be prohibited or restricted by governments to protect consumers’ health. After introducing the most important packaging-related measures adopted or proposed in the industries in question and highlighting the differences between the concepts of "registration" and "use" of brands, the paper will make the point that the TRIPS Agreement and the Paris Convention do not offer trademark owners a positive right to use brands, but just a negative right (i.e. the right to prevent third parties from exploiting the sign), which makes the measures analysed in the paper lawful and compliant with those international treaties. In light of the evidence gathered thus far, the measures in question seem also to be capable of meeting the desired target, namely consumers’ health.
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