[Ip-health] IP-Watch: Panel Appointed For WTO Mega-Case On Australia Tobacco Packaging

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue May 6 08:34:23 PDT 2014


http://www.ip-watch.org/2014/05/06/panel-appointed-for-wto-mega-case-on-australia-tobacco-packaging/

Panel Appointed For WTO Mega-Case On Australia Tobacco PackagingPublished
on 6 May 2014 @ 3:21 pm

Intellectual Property Watch

World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo yesterday
appointed three panellists to examine the dispute against an Australian
public health measure requiring tobacco products to be sold in plain
packaging in the country. A decision in the case will be forthcoming in six
months.

Five countries have brought varying but similar cases against Australia for
the measure. The director general appointed the panellists because there
was no agreement by the six parties in the dispute (five complainants and
one respondent) on the composition of the panel, the WTO said. This case
has the largest number of members in WTO history, a WTO source said.

The panellists will be:

Chairperson: Mr. Alexander Erwin (South Africa)

Members: Mr. François Dessemonted (Switzerland) and Ms. Billie Miller
(Barbados)

The panel report will have to be issued in maximum six months after the
date of the composition.

The six parties involved in this dispute (Australia, Ukraine, Honduras,
Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia) agreed in April to accept the same
panellists for all of the disputes (*IPW*, WTO/TRIPS, 26 April
2014<http://www.ip-watch.org/2014/04/26/wto-to-consider-australia-plain-packaging-disputes-under-one-panel/>).
They also agreed to harmonise the timetable for the panel proceedings,
cooperate in all matters related to the agreement, and not to raise any
procedural objections to any of the steps set out in it, according to
sources.

The case initiated by Ukraine (WT/DS434) asserts a violation of the WTO
Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
trademark protection. The cases initiated by Honduras (WT/DS435), the
Dominican Republic (WT/DS441), Cuba (WT/DS458) and Indonesia (WT/DS467),
include an issue related to geographical indications, products named for
particular places and characteristics.



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