This chapter considers the nature of some of the claims against Australia’s plain packaging measure that allege contraventions of the Agreement Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). A decision of the Panel is not expected before the middle of 2016 and the submissions of the various parties are not currently public. The chapter therefore focuses on academic debate to date about the nature of plain packaging’s compatibility with TRIPS.
In many respects, the law surrounding copyright in databases is quite settled at international, regional and domestic levels. Yet despite the extent to which it is settled, important issues continue to arise in the context of legal protection of databases. Those issues include the extension of protection via plurilateral trade and investment agreements that provide for TRIPS plus protection, such as the protection provided for in the WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996 and required by those agreements. Other issues include variations in the application of rules or standards to the subsistence of copyright or the exceptions to be provided to copyright in databases. Further, there is considerable debate within the European Union about exceptions, such as that for text and data mining, and even proposals for further extension of rights in respect of data such as a data producer’s right. This chapter provides an explanation of those issues and commentary on them, especially about the appropriateness of proposed exceptions and the seemingly now abandoned suggestion of a data producer’s right.