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The Associated Press November 21, 2011, 2:33AM ET

Tobacco giant sues Australia over plain packaging

Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing the Australian government over legislation banning logos and brand imagery on cigarette packaging.

Australia's government passed the legislation Monday, with the health and aging minister trumpeting it as "an example for the world to follow."

The legislation that takes effect in December 2012 requires brand names to be written in a standard font against a drab dark-brown background.

Immediately after the legislation passsed, Hong Kong-based Philip Morris Asia served a notice of arbitration under an investment treaty, promising more litigation to follow. The company said that billions of dollars of valuable trademarks and investments in Australia were at stake.

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