the-arguments 2: violates-intellectual-property
With this argument, the tobacco industry tries to suggest that plain packaging of tobacco products will somehow fundamentally undermine the system of protections for intellectual property and lead to a lack of confidence from business and investors.
A JTI website states that:
“The introduction of plain packaging will hugely undermine the protection of intellectual property rights and branding in Ireland. Going this route will introduce a fundamental element of doubt and unpredictability to Ireland’s business environment.” ,1
PJ Carroll (a subsidiary of BAT) in its submission to the Irish Joint Committee on Health and Children says:
“The removal of legitimately held trademarks and other intellectual property rights would undermine and damage Ireland’s hard won position as the best country in the world for business as announced recently by Forbes magazine. If the Proposal is introduced, businesses across all sectors would be on notice that their trademarks are not safe in Ireland.” [para. 2.7]
British American Tobacco (New Zealand), in response to the New Zealand consultation, states that plain packaging would cause:
“lasting damage to New Zealand’s international reputation among its trading partners and foreign investors, who would rightly question the security of investments in New Zealand and its respect for international trade rules, intellectual property, and basic property rights.”[p. 36]
Philip Morris’s submission to the Irish Joint Committee stated that:
“Enacting legislation that completely undermines trademarks is not consistent with an aim to provide a robust IP protection regime in order to support foreign direct investment. Would Ireland Inc. be happy if other countries required plain packaging for alcohol in circumstances that in many countries alcohol has been identified as the number one public health risk?”[p. 3]
1 From JTI’s stopillicittobacco website (accessed March 2, 2017): http://www.stopillicittobacco.com/potential-to-grow/plain-packaging.htm.