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Philip Morris faces the possibility of blocked IQOS imports

By April 7, 2021April 9th, 2021IQOS Updates

In May 2020, British American Tobacco filed a lawsuit against its main competitor PMI in the United States and Germany, alleging that the tobacco heating technology used in PMI’s heating HnB device IQOS infringed its patent.

Philip Morris faces the possibility of blocked IQOS importsBritish American Tobacco has explained that in the United States, it has filed two patent infringement claims, one through the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the other through the Federal Court of Virginia. The tobacco company claims that it seeks compensation for the losses caused and that the import of the product is banned.

The German and American lawsuits are based on allegations that the heating blade technology used in IQOS is an early version of the technology currently used in BAT’s Glo tobacco heating equipment. BAT originally planned to launch the Glo series in Germany this year. PMI began selling IQOS in the United States in 2019. The latter is the only heating smoke device approved for sale in Germany.

British American Tobacco spokesperson Will Hill said: “If we win, we may get an exclusion order from ITC that prohibits Philip Morris from importing IQOS into the United States unless they agree to obtain a license for our patent.”

“We have seen media reports that British American Tobacco has filed a legal action, but has no opportunity to evaluate its allegations. However, we can say that we will defend ourselves vigorously,” Philip Morris replied. Earlier this month, the six-day trial at the International Trade Center (ITC) in Washington began, and an article on marginal markets revealed that the judge is expected to announce the results of the investigation in May.

Reynolds also sued PMI

Similarly, Reynolds sued PMI and its parent company Altria in April on the grounds that they copied the patented technology developed by PMI for its Vuse Vibe and Vuse Solo products. Due to the current new crown pandemic, tobacco stocks have declined in the past year, but IQOS has done a better job than other heated tobacco equipment.

Subsequently, Altria filed its own patent infringement claim in the Virginia case and filed a separate lawsuit against Renault in May. Altria also filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office, questioning the validity of Reynolds’s six patents (including three in the ITC case).

Philip Morris said: “British American Tobacco’s attempt to obtain an import ban against IQOS in the United States is part of a broader global strategy aimed at weakening the hot tobacco market, which they lag far behind, and protecting their core tobacco business. .”

IQOS is essential to PMI’s business strategy

The IQOS device is critical to Philip Morris’s business strategy, which focuses on the destruction of combustible tobacco, and the device performs significantly better than other heated tobacco products on the market.

He said: “This is one of Philip Morris’s most promising bets on the next generation of high-profit futures.”. “Both parties can resolve their respective court cases, and Philip Morris can agree to license BAT’s patents.”

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