When even winning is losing. The surprising cost of defeating Philip Morris over plain packaging


Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Australia scored a victory over the tobacco giant Philip Morris in the High Court in 2012. The court held that Australia’s plain cigarette packaging laws were legal and did not constitute an unjust confiscation of trademarks and intellectual property. Philip Morris had to pay all of Australia’s costs.

If it had been an Australian company, that’s where it would have ended.

But because of a once obscure but increasingly common class of provisions in international treaties known as an ISDS (remember that name) it tried again.

Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network, tells the story in The Conversation ...