Philip Morris sues Australia over tobacco laws

AP News
Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:14 AM
Philip Morris sues Australia over tobacco laws

Philip Morris is challenging the Australian government again over legislation that bans corporate logos and brand imagery on packages of cigarettes.

Subsidiary Philip Morris Limited filed a lawsuit Tuesday with the country's High Court over the legislation passed in November. It requires brand names to be written in a standard font against a drab dark-brown background starting in December 2012.

The New York company says billions of dollars of valuable trademarks and investments are at stake and the government has been unable to show that plain packaging would reduce smoking rates.

Subsidiary Philip Morris Asia already has served a notice of arbitration under an investment treaty.

Philip Morris International Inc. sells Marlboro and other U.S. brands abroad. It is the world's second-biggest cigarette company after state-controlled China National Tobacco.