Sunday, December 4, 2011

BAT Files Suit Against Aussie Government

British American Tobacco filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Australian government over the latter’s new law, which takes effect on December 01, 2012 and which bans logos from cigarettre packs – a law that the tobacco company argues is unconstitutional and violates intellectual property rights. I had blogged about this issue on May 29 & 31, 2011.

“As a legal company selling a legal product, we have consistently said we will defend our valuable intellectual property on behalf of our shareholders as any other company would,” company spokesperson Scott McIntyre said in a statement to The Associated Press. “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.”

Less than two weeks ago, Australia’s Parliament passed legislation that forces tobacco companies to remove their distinctive colors and logos from cigarette packs and instead print their brand names in a tiny font on drab, olive-green packs. The packs will also be required to feature graphic images depicting the negative effects of smoking.

Even as the tobacco companies threatened, warned and reproached the government that they will not take this law lying down, Health Minister Nicola Roxon said she is ready to fight the tobacco companies in court. “Let there be no mistake, big tobacco is fighting against the government for one very simple reason – because it knows, as we do, that plain packaging will work,” Roxon clarified in a statement to AP. “While it is fighting to protect its profits, we are fighting to protect lives”.

Celtic returned to within four points of Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers after beating Dundee United 1-0 – thanks to a twelvth minute strike by Gary Hooper who having received James Forrest’s return pass, skipped past United’s Gavin Gunning and then slammed a shot across the bows of goalkeeper Dusan Pernis into the far corner.

No comments: