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Now BAT challenges Australian plain pack laws

Thu 1st December, 2011

British American Tobacco becomes second tobacco company to launch legal action against Australian laws forcing tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging from next year.

BAT, lodging papers with Australia's High Court in Sydney, said the tough world-first laws should be struck down because the government was infringing on the company's intellectual property and branding without proper compensation.

"If the same type of legislation was introduced for a beer brewing company or a fast food chain, then they'd be taking the government to court and we're no different," the company's Australian spokesman Scott McIntyre said.

McIntyre said the BAT proceedings in the High Court, Australia's supreme judicial body, would be a test case on the validity of the plain pack laws to two leading brands in Australia, Winfield and Dunhill cigarettes.

Last month Philip Morris also launched legal action against the Australian government after parliament passed legislation banning all branding from cigarette packs.

Source: Reuters UK (1 December 2011)

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