Dec 022012
 

Tobacco giant, Philip-Morris, brought actions this year under investor-State arbitration mechanisms in investment treaties to challenge laws limiting (in Uruguay) or prohibiting (in Australia) the display of its trademarks in tobacco packaging. This has caused the Australian government to take a strong stance against any investor-State arbitration provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs), including exemptions from the proposed investor-state settlement provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), currently being negotiated.  However, a closer look reveals a broad collection of older treaties that do not contain exceptions in modern treaties that could have avoided this situation. As a multinational-enterprise, Philip-Morris has attempted to evade these exceptions by going through subsidiaries to bring claims under more favorable treaties. This reveals that Australia’s new stance against investor-State arbitration may do nothing to prevent similar claims being brought in the future.

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Aug 252012
 

In this webcast, recorded August 27, American University Washington College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property faculty Jorge Contreras, Jonas Anderson and Christine Farley discuss the Apple-Samsung verdict and litigation. CLICK HERE FOR WEBCAST

Jorge Contreras, who researches and teaches on patent licensing and is a frequent public commenter on the case in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other major outlets, discusses Apple and Samsung’s competing utility patent claims. Jonas Anderson, who teaches patent law and has litigated design patent cases, discusses Apple’s design patent claims. And Christine Farley, a scholar and teacher of U.S. and international trademark law, discusses the trade dress issues. Continue reading »

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Jul 252011
 

Australian Ambassador Kim Beasley has vowed that Australia will not change the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act, which prohibits cigarette packs from displaying brands and logos, despite accusations that the law violates international trademark law.  According to Inside U.S. Trade, last week Beasley “dismissed U.S. companies’ claims that the plain packaging law… unjustifiably restricts the use of their trademarks in violation of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.”  Continue reading »

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