When the legislation was announced, the government said the plain packaging would be olive green, but olive growers objected. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon was forced to issue a rebuttal, explaining “I need to publicly say to the olive growers that we don’t think that their products are in any way connected with the very unattractive product of tobacco”. And she added “Even though the colour we are using is olive green … I am now calling it drab green.”
“The ability of brand owners to market their product in unique and easily identifiable ways is a core element of a developed society’s protection of intellectual property rights“, ICC spokesperson Jeffrey Hardy maintained.
“Australia has been a leading voice in support of IP and rules-based commerce, but the proposed regulations mandating the elimination of trademarks… is in direct and dangerous conflict with this view,” he added.
As I have previously said, this is a brave move by the Australian government. If executing this plan proves challenging because it will get bogged down by legal tussles about IP issues and such like, then I say, just ban the sale of these cancer sticks nationwide. It’s all about political will. The million-dollar question: Will the Aussies cave in or will they stand firm?