Australia’s High Court has upheld new government legislation on cigarette plain packaging after rejecting a legal challenge from tobacco companies.

Tobacco companies including British American Tobacco and Phillip Morris had claimed the legislation was unconstitutional because it would damage the companies’ intellectual property rights.

But the court found that the laws were legal, meaning cigarettes will be sold in olive green packs devoid of branding from December 1.

Meanwhile, in the UK retailers must wait at least three months before finding out whether their efforts to convince government of the harmful impact that plain tobacco packaging would have on their businesses have succeeded.

Thousands of tobacco retailers responded to the consultation via the internet, letter, or postcard campaigns led by trade associations.

Association of Convenience Stores public affairs director Shane Brennan said he was happy that the trade association had put forward a robust case for the burden that plain packaging would have on retailers.

New Tobacco Retailers’ Alliance national spokeswoman Debbie Corris submitted its response. In it she said that in addition to a rise in the illicit trade, plain packaging would increase transaction and stock-taking times for retailers. “It would also increase the amount of red tape that retailers have to deal with when the display ban isn’t even introduced in our stores yet, let alone its effects evaluated,” she said.