By Martinne Geller
LONDON (Reuters) – A UK court has dismissed an appeal brought by some of Britain’s largest tobacco companies over the government’s new plain packaging rules.
In its decision handed down on Wednesday, the court dismissed all appeals brought by British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, Imperial Brands and several paper manufacturers.
The companies argued that the law, which went into effect in May, unlawfully deprives them of their intellectual property by banning the use of all marketing on packages, including logos, colors and special fonts.
“This is a victory for public health and another crushing defeat for the tobacco industry,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health.
“This ruling should also encourage other countries to press ahead with standardized packaging, now that the industry’s arguments have yet again been shown to be without foundation.”
BAT, the world’s second-biggest tobacco company, called the decision “disappointing” and said it was considering its options carefully.
(Reporting by Martinne Geller in London; Editing by Louise Heavens, Greg Mahlich)