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Australia deprives cigarettes of branded packs and logos

August 20, 2012

Australian High Court has defeated the cases of major world tobacco Companies that have demanded cancellation of new law according to which from December 2012 all cigarettes will be sold in the country in packs of unified patterns. On these new packs of olive green color will not be branded logos, brand names will be printed with tiny font, but they will be "adorned" with frightening pictures and warning inscriptions about smoking harm.

Four major Tobacco Companies - Japanese Tobacco International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris have substantiated their suit against Australian government basing on assertion that new rules of cigarettes sale contradict their constitutional right of property. As claimants have underlined, government by disabling use of trade mark actually appropriates trade marks without paying any compensation to their legal owners. Government, on the contrary, has affirmed that limitation of trade marks use is not fact of their appropriation. High Court that was trying the claim during almost four months in the end has supported authorities' position. However, claimants don't intend to give up - as lawyers that represent Philip Morris interests, tobacco Companies now will struggle with Australia as part of the case in World Trade Organization (WTO). Appropriate complaints in WTO filed Honduras, Dominican Republic and Ukraine that consider new rules of selling cigarettes in Australia illegally infringing interests of their manufacturers.

Stakes in present confrontation of Canberra and tobacco concerns are too high and not only for Australia. In many countries of the world people follow the course of this trial - governments of India, Great Britain, Canada and Norway have already declared that they are considering issue about introducing tobacco selling rules similar to Australian. And New Zealand rules have recently publicly declared that they are going to make everything possible to make country wholly free of smoking to 2025.


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