In Court

Published: Saturday 15 December 2007

Nigeria sues Tobacco company:
The Nigerian government has filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Abuja against tobacco companies British-American Tobacco, Philip Morris International and International Tobacco Ltd. It has sought US $42.4 billion in reparations for damages the companies have caused to Nigerians' health. The government has demanded US $34.4 billion of the reparations in anticipation of the future cost of treating patients with tobacco-related illnesses and the rest amount as a fine for the companies' actions. Nigeria's Attorney General's office filed the case in reaction to an advertising and marketing campaign allegedly targeting Nigerian youth. Following tougher regulations in the US and European nations, tobacco companies are now seeking to grow their markets in Africa and Asia.

Google faces patent lawsuit:
Northeastern University in the US has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google over the technology used in its web search system. The complaint was also filed by Jarg Corporation, which was founded by a Northeastern University professor. Jarg Corp is the exclusive licencee of the search technology and patented it in 1997, a year before Google was incorporated. Michael Belanger, president of Jarg, said that his company become aware of the infringement several years ago but lacked resources to press its case. The case is slated for hearing at the district court of the Eastern District of Texas.

No flying fox cull in Australia:
The Australian state of Queensland's Planning and Environment Court has ordered operators of a lychee farm near Townsville to dismantle their electric grids. Conservationists had filed the lawsuit two years ago after several dead flying foxes were found in the farm. Fruit farmers in the state use electricity to kill flying foxes. Green groups suggest using nets to protect the crops.

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