Fri, Dec 02, 2011 - Page 5 News List

British American Tobacco sues Australia over packaging law

AP, SYDNEY

British American Tobacco launched legal action against the Australian government yesterday, challenging the country’s tough new law that ban logos from cigarette packs.

The move comes less than two weeks after the Australian parliament passed the legislation, which forces tobacco companies to remove their distinctive colors and logos and instead print their brand names in a tiny font on drab, olive-green packs. The packs will also feature graphic images highlighting the negative effects of smoking, such as cancer-riddled mouths.

The legislation, which takes effect on Dec. 1 next year, sparked immediate outrage from tobacco companies. Philip Morris Asia has also filed legal action against the government and other cigarette makers have threatened to do the same.

British American Tobacco, the Australian market leader, filed its lawsuit in the nation’s High Court, arguing that the legislation is unconstitutional and violates intellectual property rights.

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