The Raising the Bar bill comes alive

News from IP Australia that the Senate finally passed the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill without further amendment.

It is now expected to be passed by the House of Representatives in the “autumn” sittings.

Some earlier posts here, here, here and here. IP Australia’s summary. The EM.

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 due to return to the Senate for passage, with the aim that all product on shelves on 1 July 2012 will comply with the new rules.

The Government has now released a second round of consultations on the form the packaging should take for cigars and other non-cigarette tobacco products.

Submissions should be received by 28 October 2011 with the resulting regulations expected to released in January 2012.

Consultation paper (pdf)

Senate sends tobacco bill to Committee

The Senate has referred the Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee.

This bill would give the Government power to “fix” gaps in the Tobacco (Plain Packaging) Bill by simply making regulations. The House of Representatives Health and Ageing committee has recommended the bill be passed.

The Committee is due to report by 2 September with the Committee’s report due by 19 September.