[Ip-health] Tobacco plain packaging: cigarette companies lose Australian court case

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Thu Aug 16 04:19:42 PDT 2012

Not yet. There is still the WTO GATS limitations...
On 2012/08/15 12:44 PM, Mohga Kamal-Yanni wrote:
> At last governments are allowed to protect the health of their citizens
> rather than corporate profit.
> Best wishes
> ___________________________________
> Mohga -dictating to the computer so please forgive  silly mistakes
> Dr. Mohga M Kamal-Yanni
> Senior health & HIV policy advisor
> Oxfam GB
> John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2 JY
> Tel               +44(0) 1865 472290
> UK Mobile   + 44 (0)777 62 55 884
> Skype    Mohga Kamal-Yanni
> From:   Tahir Amin <tahir at i-mak.org>
> To:     ip-health at lists.keionline.org
> Date:   15/08/2012 07:28
> Subject:        [Ip-health] Tobacco plain packaging: cigarette companies
> lose    Australian court case
> Sent by:        ip-health-bounces at lists.keionline.org
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/15/tobacco-plain-packaging-australia-court
> Tobacco plain packaging: cigarette companies lose Australian court case
> Victory for government will force manufacturers to remove branding and
> sell
> tobacco products in generic green packets
> Australia <http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/australia>'s highest court has
> endorsed cigarette plain-packaging laws that will force tobacco companies
> to remove branding from their products.
> Tobacco companies British American
> Tobacco<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/britishamericantobacco>,
> Britain's Imperial
> Tobacco<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/imperialtobaccogroup>,
> Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco challenged the laws in Australia's high
> court, claiming the rules were unconstitutional because they effectively
> extinguished the companies'intellectual
> property<http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/intellectual-property>
>   rights.
> The court found Australia's laws to force companies to remove all branding
> and sell tobacco only in generic olive green packets, which also carry
> graphic health warnings, were legal and did not breach trademark rights.
> The laws, the toughest in the world, are in line with World Health
> Organisation recommendations and are being watched closely by Britain,
> Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India, which are considering similar
> measures.
> The decision means that starting in December tobacco companies will no
> longer be able to display their distinctive colours, brand designs and
> logos on cigarette packs. The packs will instead come in a uniform shade
> of
> olive green and feature graphic health warnings and images such as
> cancer-riddled mouths and blinded eyeballs. The government hopes the new
> packs will make smoking <http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/smoking> as
> unglamorous as possible.
> The tobacco companies are worried the law will set a global precedent that
> could slash billions of dollars from the value of their brands. They
> argued
> in court that they new rules violate intellectual property rights and
> devalue their trademarks. The government would unfairly benefit from the
> law by using cigarette packs as a platform to promote its own message,
> without compensating the tobacco companies, they said. Australia's
> constitution says the government can only acquire the property of others
> on
> "just terms".
> British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre said it was disappointed
> with the court's decision but would comply with the law. "Although the
> [law] passed the constitutional test it's still a bad law that will only
> benefit organised crime groups which sell illegal tobacco on our streets,"
> McIntyre said in a statement. "The illegal cigarette black market will
> grow
> further when all packs look the same and are easier to copy."
> The court has withheld its reasons for the judgment until later this year.

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