Trademark And Public Policy (Plain Packaging)

Moderator: Mr. Erez Kaminitz, Deputy Attorney General (Civil Law),
Israel Ministry of Justice

  • Prof. Itamar Grotto, Director of Public Health Services, Israel Ministry of Health: The role of public health authorities in improving consumer habits.
  • Mr. Michiel Reerink, Regulatory Strategy Vice President, Japan Tobacco International (JTI): Plain Packaging: Why banning brands is bad policy
  • Prof. Daniel J. Gervais, Vanderbilt Law School, Vanderbilt University: TRIPS and Plain Packaging National Legislation (video?)
  • Ms. Sharon Givoni, Sharon Givoni Consulting, Australia: Plain Packaging rules in Australia, their history and impact.

Monday, March 21, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm, Hall B

Product packaging is designed to attract consumer interest to a product and thereby promote sales of such product. Trademarks are a key element of product packaging and play an important, if not essential role, in attracting consumer attention, distinguishing the goods of one trader from the goods of other traders of similar goods and promoting brand loyalty.Trademarks are also property rights recognized under the TRIPS Agreement and national law. However when trademarks are used to market legal products that create health hazards for their consumers private property rights clash with public policy concerns. The fight against tobacco use has led to legislation worldwide first limiting advertising of tobacco products and lately several national legislators have begun to require cigarette products to be marketed only in "Plain Packages" that contain visual content and either no trademarks or in a form consisting of the mark in small block letters. The "Plain Packaging" movement could also be extended to other products. Is plain packaging legislation consistent with TRIPS? With national law property rights? Is plain packaging effective in changing consumer tastes or are health warning and or limits on advertising sufficient. How dependent is product marketing on advertising and trademark for its commercial success? These and other issues will be discussed by the panel.