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IP-Watch Interns Summer 2013

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

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    Honduras Files WTO Dispute Case Vs. Australia Over Tobacco IPR

    Published on 4 April 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Honduras announced today it has requested formal consultations with Australia under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement procedures, charging that Australia’s public health law requiring tobacco to be sold in plain packaging violates the WTO intellectual property agreement.

    The small Central American nation follows Ukraine in challenging the Australia law at the WTO. Ukraine requested consultations with Australia on 13 March (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 14 March 2012). They argue a violation of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

    “Honduras has decided to take this action given that Australia’s law contravenes several WTO obligations on intellectual property rights and technical barriers to trade, and given the serious economic consequences that this measure would have on Honduran tobacco exports,” the Honduras Secretary of Industry and Commerce said in a press release [pdf].

    At issue is a law requiring all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging as of 1 December 2012. Australian authorities say the method has been tested and is shown to be effective in reducing the public health plague of smoking, and that it is a suggested approach under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    The Honduras announcement comes on the final day of a meeting at the WHO of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control that focussed on illicit trade in tobacco products. WHO also held a meeting on economic alternatives to tobacco. Sources said the WHO meeting saw a debate over the definition of counterfeit tobacco products and decided in the end today to declare that the convention does not address intellectual property rights.

    WHO Director General Margaret Chan has called on the world to support Australia in its effort to fight tobacco and the powerful tobacco industry (IPW, WHO, 22 March 2012).

    Honduras said it is a party to the convention and “is in favour of legitimate measures to reduce smoking prevalence.”

    “Plain packaging, however, is not an appropriate measure to address smoking prevalence and is not in conformity with Australia’s WTO obligations,” Honduras said.

    “Australia’s law clearly infringes intellectual property rights by requiring that trademarks for tobacco products be displayed in standard font and size,” it added. The plain packaging requirements “would defeat the basic function of a trademark, which is to allow consumers to distinguish between products of different companies.”

    Honduras also said that the tobacco industry has been part of its history for more than a century, and that it employs several hundred thousand people directly and indirectly throughout the supply chain in the country, which it said translates into tens of millions of dollars for its economy.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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