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Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

Plain Packaging: WTO dispute panel appointed

Plain Packaging: WTO dispute panel appointed

Tobacco Plain Packaging reasons

Having previously announced the conclusion that the Tobacco Plain Packaging laws were valid, today the High Court published their reasons. 6 of the judges, Heydon J dissenting, ruled that s 51(xxxi) did not apply because there was no “acquisition” of the tobacco companies’ intellectual property rights. It was true that the ability, or rights, of the tobacco companies to use their intellectual property rights was severely curtailed, if not extinguished… Read More

Another round in the plain packaging tobacco war

This is a bit behind as it happened over the break: The “tobacco plain packaging” legislation became law last December and, as you will recall, Philip Morris Asia has initiated an arbitration proceeding under the Australia-Hong Kong Investment Treaty. Australia filed its “defence” late in December, alleging that Philip Morris Asia bought the assets in question after the Government’s plans were known and so hasn’t lost any value: Prof. Davison.. Read More

More plain packaging for tobacco products

Back in July, the Government introduced the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill and related legislation. As you will recall it generated quite some controversy as it effectively bans the use of some types of trade marks and severely restricts the way others can be used. It has passed the House and, now that the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee has recommended the Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill be passed, is.. Read More

House committee recommends Parliament pass the tobacco plain packaging legislation

In a report tabled today (pdf), the House of Representatives’ Health and Ageing committee has recommended that the House pass the tobacco plain packaging legislation. The Committee noted the submissions about possible breaches of TRIPS, the Paris Convention, the Constitution etc. and said at [1.63]: While the Committee recognises that there are … complex legal issues relating intellectual property and trade marks, it considers these issues to be beyond the purview.. Read More

Phillip Morris sues Australia!

Phillip Morris has announced that it plans to sue Australia under the Australia-Hong Kong (SA) Bilateral Investment Treaty over the planned plain packaging legislation. What the Government is proposing to do Under the proposed Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011, tobacco companies would be required to adopt a prescribed form of packaging for tobacco products. In its most recent form, this would involve all tobacco companies using the same olive brown.. Read More