21 December 2015Trademarks

WIPR survey: Readers sceptical about plain packaging laws

Most readers are against plain packaging legislation for cigarettes, which is soon to be rolled out in England, WIPR’s most recent survey has revealed.

Responding to our survey question about whether plain packaging was a good idea, readers addressed a number of concerns including that it will not reduce smoking enough to justify limiting trademark rights and that removing brands will promote the “mystery” of smoking.

In total, 72% of respondents said they were against tobacco plain packaging.

The law in England, approved  by the government in March and which will go into effect in May next year, requires all tobacco products to be sold in ‘dull brown’ packaging with the name of the brand printed in a standardised typeface. Logos will be replaced with images showing the effect that smoking has on an individual’s health.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be exempt from the law.

But the legislation is subject to a challenge from tobacco companies Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, the Imperial Tobacco Group and Japan Tobacco International.

The companies launched a challenge at the English High Court concerning the legality of the law, with the challenge being heard earlier this month.

Our readers’ responses to the proposals, both for and against, are included below. Our next question is at the bottom of this story.

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More on this story

10 December 2015   The English High Court will today hear arguments concerning the legality of the plain packaging law for cigarettes passed by the UK government earlier this year.