Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Australia: Philip Morris Files High Court Challenge Against the Australian Government Over Plain Packaging

SOURCE Philip Morris Asia Limited

Philip Morris Limited (PML) today announced that it has filed a High Court challenge against the Australian Government over plain packaging for tobacco products. This is the second legal claim filed by a Philip Morris company against the Government on plain packaging.

Commenting on today's announcement, PML spokesperson Chris Argent said: "The Government has passed a law that acquires our valuable brands and intellectual property despite being unable to demonstrate that it will reduce smoking and ignoring the widespread concerns raised in Australia and internationally regarding the serious adverse ramifications associated with plain packaging."

"We believe plain packaging violates the Australian Constitution because the Government is seeking to acquire our property without paying compensation," Mr. Argent concludes.

PML is seeking a ruling from the Court that the Government cannot prevent PML from continuing to use its valuable intellectual property and branding on its cigarettes and packaging.

This lawsuit follows the arbitration claim filed on November 21 by Philip Morris Asia under Australia's Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong in which the company is seeking substantial monetary damages.

Comment: Go Phillip Morris - good luck in your fight against Gillard's Nanny State