Tobacco company sues Australian government

British American Tobacco has filed a lawsuit against the Australian government, arguing that a new law that bans logos from cigarette packs is unconstitutional and violates intellectual property rights.

The legislation forces tobacco companies to remove their distinctive colors and logos from cigarette packages and instead print their brand names in a tiny font on drab, olive-green packs, according to an Associated Press (AP) story.

The packs will also feature graphic images highlighting the negative effects of smoking, similar to those proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Australia is the first country to pass such a strict packaging law, which takes effect December 1, 2012.

Philip Morris Asia has also filed legal action against the government, and other cigarette makers have threatened to do the same, according to the AP.

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