Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Walter Werner
621.   Australia reiterates its strong support for the decision by other WTO Members to legislate for the mandatory plain packaging of tobacco products. 622.   The important steps made by these Members in tobacco control demonstrate that efforts to delay the adoption of tobacco plain packaging measures in these countries have not been successful. They reinforce that tobacco plain packaging is a legitimate public health measure to combat the tobacco epidemic. 623.   Contrary to claims previously made in this forum, tobacco plain packaging is not about the destruction of intellectual property rights. The measure prevents the use of tobacco product packaging to advertise and promote a unique product that causes significant damage to public health. 624.   As other Members are aware, in its report circulated in June of this year, the Panel found that Australia's tobacco plain packaging measure is a legitimate public health measure that is capable of making a meaningful contribution to reducing the use of, and exposure to, tobacco products; and rejected all claims that the measure is inconsistent with Australia's WTO obligations.
The representatives of Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Norway, Australia and Indonesia took the floor.
55.   The Chair said that two requests for consultations had been formally submitted since the June 2018 meeting. On 1 June 2018, the European Union had requested consultations with China regarding "Certain Measures on the Transfer of Technology" (circulated in document IP/D/39). On 1 October 2018, Qatar had requested consultations with Saudi Arabia regarding Measures Concerning the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (circulated in document IP/D/40).
56.   At the meeting on 27 August 2018, the Dispute Settlement Body had adopted two Panel reports regarding "Australia – Certain Measures Concerning Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Other Plain Packaging Requirements Applicable to Tobacco Products and Packaging", concerning the complaints by Cuba and Indonesia. The information was available in documents IP/D/33/Add.1 and IP/D/34/Add.1. In proceedings on the same subject matter, Honduras had appealed certain findings of the Panel in its report WT/DS435/R, on 19 July 2018; and the Dominican Republic had also appealed certain findings in report WT/DS441/R, on 23 August 2018.
57.   The representatives of Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Norway, Australia and Indonesia took the floor.
IP/C/M/90, IP/C/M/90/Add.1