Norway court rejects Philip Morris lawsuit

Sep 14, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The NTB news agency says the Philip Morris company has lost a court battle against Norway's government over the right to display tobacco products in stores.

Norway, which has had a ban on cigarette and alcohol advertising since 1975, in 2010 banned even the display of tobacco products at their point of sale.

Shops must keep cigarettes in unmarked cabinets or special vending machines with no visible logos. Customers wishing to buy tobacco must actively ask merchants for it.

Philip Morris sued the Norwegian state, arguing that the display ban interfered with the free flow of goods and broke with international agreements Norway is party to.

NTB says the Oslo district court rejected the lawsuit Friday. It was not immediately clear whether the company would appeal the ruling.