Posted Friday 8th of May 2015 .

INTA’s Board of Directors has approved a policy resolution that opposes restrictions on trademark use through plain and standardised product packaging. There has been much debate in recent years around the adoption of plain packaging particularly in the tobacco industry; Australia was the first country to enact laws that mandated plain packaging on tobacco products in 2012, and Ireland passed a similar bill earlier this year. INTA’s position is that plain and highly standardised packaging measures should be rejected or repealed since they violate various international treaties and national laws on trade mark protection including the provisions of the Paris Convention and the TRIPS Agreement. It also suggests that governments should use less drastic alternatives to address health and safety goals, such as public educational campaigns which do not violate international and national law and expropriate valuable trade mark rights. A key concern raised in the resolution is that the adoption of plain packaging will impinge on consumer choice, limit competition and pave the way for increased counterfeiting and trade in diverted goods, not only in the tobacco industry but also in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. (INTA Board Resolution, 2 May 2015)

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