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British America Tobacco Australia is suing six tobacco sellers

Sunday Herald Sun — 11 June 2011

A TOBACCO company giant has vowed to hunt down rogue retailers who sell counterfeit cigarettes and chop-chop tobacco.

It has launched legal action against six tobacco sellers they accuse of selling Winfield Blue and Winfield Gold look-alike packets for two-thirds of the price of the real thing.

British America Tobacco Australia is running covert operations around Australia and will sue retailers selling illegal tobacco, according to a spokesman.

Scott McIntyre said his company owned the Winfield trademarks and had sued six retailers in the Federal Magistrates’ Court Melbourne registry, claiming they had breached intellectual property laws.

He said the counterfeit cigarettes were made overseas and copied Winfield packaging and were smuggled into Australia.

He said the black market in fake cigarettes cost the Australian economy $1.1 billion in lost tobacco excise revenue and GST.
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