Plain Packaging Doesn’t Work

The government of Australia is currently studying legislation which would mandate the removal of the trademarks and logos of tobacco producers from cigarette packages. This legislation, if it becomes law, would violate the intellectual property rights of the producers as well as being contrary to several international treaties.

On Friday, the Property Rights Alliance submitted comments on the legislation explaining how it would harm consumers, producers, and violate intellectual property rights.

The Property Rights Alliance also released the following statement on the legislation today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Property Rights Alliance (PRA) submitted comments in response to the Australian Government’s request for submissions regarding proposed plain packaging regulations on tobacco products. In the submission, PRA notes such a regulation would have no effect on smoking levels, infringe on a company’s intellectual property rights, be a violation of several international trade agreements, and would put consumers at higher risk of being misled by counterfeit products.

In the comments, Kelsey Zahourek, executive director of the Property Rights Alliance, noted that:

“By denying tobacco companies their right to use their trademark to identify their product, the proposed legislation strikes at the very core principles of corporate identity and consumer information that the Australian economy is based upon. As such, it not only violates the legal rights of the companies affected, but furthermore sets a very dangerous principle for the future of a government unwilling to respect intellectual property rights.”

(For a copy of the Press Release, click here.)