Thursday, June 27, 2013

Japan Tobacco fights new Thai pack health warning rules

Tobacco branding wars are escalating as Thailand seeks to enlarge health warnings on cigarette packs from 50 to 85 % of both sides of each pack. See here for previous reports. Now Japan Tobacco is bringing a legal action against the Thai government over the issue. Philip Morris apparently threatened similar action. The rule takes effect later in the year but JT says this has a "disproportionate impact on legitimate competition, intellectual property rights and freedom of expression".  JT apparently filed a lawsuit on 19th June, presumably in the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court. The thrust of their cases is that the warnings are not "effective or proportionate". Retailers have apparently also complained. The Thai government objected and indicated that it was entirely within its powers to increase health warnings.

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