Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016
The Australian Government has introduced an amendment to the
national Trade Mark laws which is designed to give the government
room to act on any unintended intellectual property consequences of
recent legislative attempts to tackle tobacco use.
In the context of the Federal Government's push to
introduce plain packaging on tobacco products the Minister for
Health and Ageing, The Hon. Nicola Roxon, earlier this month
introduced into the Parliament the Trade Marks Amendment
(Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011 (Cth) (the
bill). The bill amends the Trade Marks Act 1995
(Cth) (the Trade Marks Act) to give the
government room to respond, by way of regulations, to any
'unintended interactions' between the pending
Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011(Cth) (the Plain
Packaging Act) and the Trade Marks Act.
The explanatory memorandum for the bill states that while the
Plain Packaging Act prevents a trade mark from being placed on
tobacco products or their retail packaging, s 28 will ensure that
the operation of the legislation does not affect the ability of
trade mark owners to protect their marks from use by other
The Minister emphasised the following points:
that owners of tobacco related trade marks will still be able
to use their trade marks except on retail packaging and the
products themselves e.g. on business correspondence; and
that the bill seeks to ensure that applicants and owners of
registered trade marks are not disadvantaged by the practical
operation of the Plain Packaging Act.
Readers should note that if the Plain Packaging Act is not
passed into law the bill will itself fail to become law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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