It's a topic that has generated considerable controversy [more smoke than heat, wonders Merpel]: can a government pass laws which effectively extinguish a company’s trade mark rights? See previous Kat posts here, here, here and here.
|Blowing smoke rings:|
unlikely to become
an Olympic event ...
The High Court issued a brief statement in which it stated: ‘At least a majority of the Court is of the opinion that the Act is not contrary to s 51(xxxi). Today the Court made orders accordingly. The Court will publish its reasons for decision at a later date’.
In a statement British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre said:
'Although the TPP passed the constitutional test it’s still a bad law that will only benefit organised crime groups which sell illegal tobacco on our streets ... At the end of the day no one wins from plain packaging except the criminals who sell illegal cigarettes around Australia ... The illegal cigarette black market will grow further when all packs look the same and are easier to copy … We still believe the government had no right to remove a legal company’s intellectual property but BATA will comply with this and every other law.'The new packaging laws are due to come into force on 1 December 2012.
This Kat is looking forward to getting her paws on the reasons in due course and to seeing how governments in other jurisdictions react to the decision.
Merpel can understand almost everything about the Australian Government's plan, but there's one thing that puzzles her: why do the packages have to be olive green? Is it to avoid confusion with existing packaging ...?