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May 24, 2019
Philip Morris International Files Suit Against Standardized Packaging Regulations in the UK
“We respect the government’s authority to regulate in the public
interest, but wiping out trademarks simply goes too far,” said
PMI’s filing asserts that:
- The regulations unlawfully deprive PMI of its trademarks. A core doctrine of English and EU law is that there must be fair compensation for deprivations of property, a remedy that the regulations do not provide.
The regulations violate the EU law that says Community trademarks can
be used by identical means throughout the EU, which would be
impossible if the
UKgovernment bans their use in the UK.
The regulations obstruct the free movement of goods through means that
are neither necessary nor proportionate to achieving the
UKgovernment’s public health objectives.
A case from the
English High Courtis already before the European Union’s Court of Justiceto decide whether standardized packaging is permissible under the EU’s recently enacted tobacco product directive. If not, then the UKregulations would be invalid. It would have been far sounder to hear from the Court of Justicebefore issuing the regulations.
Trademarks convey a product’s quality and other attributes and help consumers select from competing brands in a crowded marketplace. In this and other ways, trademarks are key to a market economy.
In 2014, Marlboro ranked as the ninth most valuable global brand
with an estimated value of
Firestone continued, “The UK government rushed out the regulations, with many serious questions left unanswered. The law protects trademarks because of their essential functions for consumers and in driving competition. By contrast, a wholesale ban on branding distorts the market and treats consumers as if they’re not capable of making their own decisions.”
For more information please see:
Philip Morris International media office
T: +41 (0)58 242 4500