Simpsons Solicitors

High Court rules against tobacco companies in dispute over plain packaging laws

August 16th 2012

The High Court has ruled in favour of the Commonwealth Government in a dispute over its new plain packaging laws for cigarettes.

In April 2012, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco argued the case against the plain packaging laws before the High Court. The companies argued that the new laws are unconstitutional because they diminish the value of aspects of their branding.

In particular, it was argued that the laws are contrary to s.51(xxxi) of the Constitution, because they result in an acquisition of property (not being on just terms). It was argued that in effect, the laws extinguish their ability to benefit from their statutory intellectual property rights (such as trademarks and copyright images) as well as their established goodwill and reputation.

While the Court has released a statement that the new laws are not contrary to s.51(xxxi), the reasons for the decision will be published at a later date.

Read the statement from the High Court here.

To read more about this story go to:

http://www.copyright.org.au/news-and-policy/details/id/2142/

For inquiries relating to publishing and copyright law please contact Adam Simpson.