British American Tobacco Pursues Patent Litigation Against Philip Morris

A lawsuit between competing tobacco companies involves the tobacco heating technology used in their devices. British American Tobacco has sued Philip Morris in the International Trade Commission and a federal court in Virginia, alleging that its IQOS products have infringed on BAT patents. Specifically, BAT argues that Philip Morris misappropriated the technology that BAT uses in glo tobacco heating devices. The IQOS devices are the only tobacco heating products that are currently sold in the U.S. BAT will release the glo devices in Germany later this year.

In addition to damages for patent infringement, BAT asked the court to prevent Philip Morris from importing IQOS devices into the U.S. Philip Morris plans to defend both lawsuits aggressively. The International Trade Commission and the Virginia federal court will evaluate their respective cases separately and will not be bound by each other’s decisions.

The IQOS devices and the glo devices are smokeless alternatives to traditional cigarettes, and they also are different from the popular e-cigarette. The IQOS device consists of a stick wrapped in paper that contains tobacco. When the stick is heated, an aerosol containing nicotine is released.

This is not the only lawsuit involving the two tobacco rivals. BAT is suing Philip Morris in a patent validity action in Great Britain, responding to a lawsuit brought by Philip Morris against BAT in Japan.

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