Public Health, Intellectual Property, and the Trade and Investment Law Challenges to Australia and Uruguay's Tobacco Packaging Laws

Australian Year Book of International Law, Vol. 37 No. 1, 2020

U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 919

8 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2020

See all articles by Suzanne Zhou

Suzanne Zhou

McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer; University of Cambridge - Trinity Hall; University of Melbourne

Jonathan Liberman

Melbourne Law School and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Date Written: December 21, 2020

Abstract

The trade and investment disputes brought against Australia's tobacco plain packaging laws and Uruguay's large graphic health warnings and restrictions on tobacco brand variants are key cases on the relationship between public health and intellectual property. Both cases have been decided in favour of the respondent states, and they are important victories not only for tobacco control but for public health flexibilities in intellectual property agreements more broadly. Key points to take from the jurisprudence include: its confirmation that trademarks do not give trademark owners the right to use those trademarks to market harmful products, its clarification of the scope of intellectual property protections under international investment law, and its findings on the status of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health and on interpreting the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights coherently with public health more generally.

Keywords: public health, intellectual property

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Zhou, Suzanne and Liberman, Jonathan, Public Health, Intellectual Property, and the Trade and Investment Law Challenges to Australia and Uruguay's Tobacco Packaging Laws (December 21, 2020). Australian Year Book of International Law, Vol. 37 No. 1, 2020, U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 919, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3752521

Suzanne Zhou (Contact Author)

McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer ( email )

615 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, Victoria 3004
Australia

University of Cambridge - Trinity Hall ( email )

Trinity Lane
Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
United Kingdom

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

Jonathan Liberman

Melbourne Law School and Melbourne School of Population and Global Health ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

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