Honduras Files Appeal Against WTO Ruling That Allowed Tobacco Plain Packaging 20/07/2018 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The World Trade Organization last month released the long-awaited ruling of its dispute settlement body on Australia’s legislation requiring plain packaging for tobacco products, finding in favour of Australia. Yesterday, Honduras filed a formal appeal against the ruling. Australia’s legislation came into effect on 1 December 2012 and requires that all tobacco products sold, offered for sale, or otherwise supplied in Australia must be in plain packaging. Four tobacco-producing countries initiated disputes against Australia, arguing that the country was infringing intellectual property rules among other concerns. The four countries were Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia. The report of the WTO dispute settlement panel was released [pdf] on 28 June (IPW, Health & IP, 28 June 2018). On 19 July, Honduras filed an appeal against the WTO panel ruling. The Honduras case had included an assertion of infringement of trademarks and geographical indications by the plain packaging requirements. According to the WTO, parties to a dispute can appeal a panel’s ruling, as long as appeals are based on points of law, such as legal interpretation, but they cannot reopen factual findings made by the panel. Each appeal is heard by three members of the WTO Appellate Body, which generally has up to three months to conclude its report. According to sources, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia also challenged the DSB ruling but have not yet indicated whether they intend to file an appeal. The ruling on the plain packaging dispute was a test case for many observers. Some countries were waiting the decision to implement their own legislation on plain packaging but as months turned to years, some went ahead, such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. No other disputes have been filed against those countries. The current deadlock over the replacement of Appellate Body members, which runs with four members instead of seven, is a growing worry for many WTO members (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 20 July 2018), over the functioning of the Appellate Body and the entire Dispute Settlement system of the WTO. Intellectual Property Watch posted an academic analysis of the WTO plain packaging decision here (IPW, Inside Views, 3 July 2018). Image Credits: -Oncology News Australia Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Honduras Files Appeal Against WTO Ruling That Allowed Tobacco Plain Packaging" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.