Ukraine Opposes Logo-Free Cigarette Packaging
Yuridicheskaya Praktika, a Ukrainian legal newspaper, reports that the World Trade Organization (WTO) will consider the formal complaint Ukraine filed earlier this year against the Australian law that sets new requirements for the design of cigarette packs.
The law, expected to enter into force on December 1, 2012, will make Australia the first country in the world to introduce plain cigarette packaging devoid of manufacturers’ logos.
According to the law, cigarettes will be sold in standardized packets with brand names written in a uniform font. Health warnings and graphic images of diseases caused by smoking will cover at least 75 percent of the front of the pack and at least 90 percent of the back.
Ukraine is one of several countries that filed complaints against Australia arguing that the logo-free cigarette packaging undermines trademark owners’ rights.
Several major cigarette manufacturers have sued the Australian government for taking away their intellectual property rights. They are also arguing that the uniform, plain packaging will make cigarettes easier to counterfeit and smuggle and therefore will not help reduce tobacco use and tobacco-related illnesses and deaths.
Prepared by: Maya Kryvoshei
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Source: Yuridicheskaya Praktika, a Ukrainian legal newspaper
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