Plain packaging of cigarettes

30 May 2011

Adjunct Professor Alan Bennett believes the Federal Government's plaining packaging of cigarettes legislation may violate international trade and intellectual property agreements.

Speaking to The Australian, Adjunct Professor Bennett says it could contravene the TRIPS (trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement, the US-Australia free trade agreement and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the foundation stone of the international intellectual property regime for more than a century.

He adds that overseas companies could petition their governments to take action against Australia.

Further, he is convinced the plain packaging bid will end in a tangle of actions in Australian courts and international forums.

"There's a lot more to intellectual property rights than registering trademarks," he says. "You've got to be able to exploit your intellectual property.

"A law to prevent such use would affect the right of the intellectual property holders."

View the entire article - Cigarettes may be too hot to handle - The Australian

Contact: Greg Sherington

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