legal battle

Marlboro-maker Philip Morris ordered to pay Australian government millions after losing lawsuit

It wanted the South Pacific country to withdraw its laws that made unappealing packaging mandatory for cigarettes.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration on Monday ordered tobacco company Philip Morris to pay the Australian government millions of dollars. It also ruled against the Marlboro manufacturer’s lawsuit that had sought the withdrawal of Australia’s packaging laws.

In 2012, the Australian government was the first in the world to order that cigarettes be sold in unappealing packets with graphic health warnings, BBC reported.

The Singapore-based court has ordered the company to pay the government’s legal costs in addition to an undisclosed arbitration fee. The exact amount is not known as it has been redacted from the ruling. Experts estimate it to be around AU$50 million (approximately Rs 288 crore), the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Philip Morris manufactures Marlboro and Longbeach cigarettes. It had moved the Singapore-based international court using a provision in the Hong Kong-Australia investment treaty known as the investor-state dispute settlement. The court had dismissed the case in 2015, labelling it as an “abuse of rights”.

While the legal representatives of Philips Morris argued that the fees were extensive, the court refuted its claims. “The tribunal does not consider that any of these costs claimed by the respondent were unreasonable,” it said.

“This thing should never have been in the court in the first place,” said former Australian treasurer Wayne Swan, who had helped draft the plain-packaging laws. The Australian government had ordered Swan to submit evidence during secret hearings in 2015.

In August 2016, the company had lost lost a six-year battle to block Uruguay’s stringent rules on warning labels on cigarette packets. It was the first tobacco company to take on a country in an international court.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

Play

Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.