Australia Wins Landmark WTO Ruling On Plain Tobacco Packaging
Australia has triumphed in a major trade dispute over its pioneering 'plain' tobacco packaging law, with World Trade Organisation judges rejecting a complaint brought by Cuba, Indonesia, Honduras and Dominican Republic.
The WTO panel said Australia's law improved public health by reducing the use of tobacco products, rebuffing claims that alternative measures would be equally effective. It also rejected the argument that Australia had unjustifiably infringed tobacco trademarks and violated intellectual property rights.
Australia's law, introduced in 2010, bans logos and distinctively-coloured cigarette packaging in favour of drab olive packets that look more like military or prison issue, with brand names printed in small standardised fonts.
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