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IPA reaction to plain packaging legislation on tobacco

The IPA unequivocally supports the role and responsibility of government in striving to achieve improvements in public health. The IPA’s concern is solely with the concept of standardised packaging restrictions on lawful products, not with attempts to decrease tobacco consumption.


Regarding the implications for intellectual property rights, the IPA believes that the introduction of plain packaging would demonstrate a willingness by government to place intellectual property restrictions against products which it allows to be sold legitimately. It is also concerned that this ‘mission creep’ could see similar restrictions placed against other lawful products in the future.

Says Richard Lindsay, IPA Director of Legal & Public Affairs: “We believe that standardised packaging would unduly restrict the rights of intellectual property owners and deprive them of their assets. Preventing companies from using their own IP on packaging would establish a worrying precedent for all products sold legally in the UK. Tobacco products today, which products tomorrow?”

Last updated 22/01/2015

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