Business Essentials for Professionals


Patent Suits Filed Against Philip Morris’ IQOS Products By BAT

Patent Suits Filed Against Philip Morris’ IQOS Products By BAT
British American Tobacco has alleged that that its bigger rival Philip Morris International Inc had infringed its patents with respect to the tobacco heating technology used in Philip Morris’ IQOS devices which has resulted in BAT filing a case against Philip Morris in the United States and Germany.
Two patent infringement claims in the United States against Philip Morris has been filed by it, informed the maker of the Lucky Strike cigarette. One of the suits was filed through the
International Trade Commission (ITC) while the other one was filed via the Virginia federal court, the companies said. British American Tobacco has approached the court seeking remedies for damages resulting from the act and has demanded an injunction on the importing the product by Philip Morris, the company said.
The heating blade technology used in IQOS is at the centre of the lawsuits filed in Germany and in the United States. British American Tobacco has argued that the technology used by Philip Morris was actually an earlier version of the technology that the country currently implements in its glo tobacco heating devices. British American Tobacco has finalized its plans for launching of its glo range of products in Germany later this year.
“If we win we may be able to get an ITC exclusion order blocking the importation of IQOS into the U.S. by Philip Morris unless they agree to take a license to our patents,” British American Tobacco spokesman Will Hill said when contacted for comment.
Selling of IQOS in the United States was started by Philip Morris last year. Importantly, the device being sold by the company is the only tobacco heating product that has been approved for sale in the United States. 
“We have seen media reports that BAT has filed legal actions but have not had the opportunity to evaluate its allegations. We can say, however, that we will vigorously defend ourselves,” Philip Morris said in a statement.
British American Tobacco said that the two cases filed under the ITC and district court will go on separately and that the decision of the two courts are not dependent on one another.
Billions of dollars are being spent for the development of smokeless alternatives such as e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating devices by tobacco companies across the world because of a growing number of people choosing to smoke traditional cigarettes.
The technology behind IQOS devices heat tobacco-filled sticks wrapped in paper resulting in the generation of an aerosol containing nicotine which is very unlike combustible cigarettes. This technology is also quite different from the ones used in e-cigarettes such as Juul in which a nicotine-filled liquid is vaporized.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc