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World NewsPhilip Morris, Altria banned from selling Iqos tobacco device in the U.S.

Philip Morris, Altria banned from selling Iqos tobacco device in the U.S.

Philip Morris International reveals an iQOS digital cigarette, which heats tobacco sticks however doesn’t burn them.

Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. International Trade Commission dominated Wednesday that Philip Morris International and Altria should cease the sale and import of the Iqos tobacco device.

The determination is the results of a patent case filed by rival R.J. Reynolds. The commerce company discovered that the cigarette different infringed on two of Reynolds’ patents.

The import and gross sales ban will take impact in two months after an administrative evaluate that requires President Joe Biden’s signature. Philip Morris stated it plans to enchantment the commerce company’s determination, and an Altria spokesperson stated the two firms are working collectively on contingency plans.

“We continue to believe RJR’s patents are invalid and that IQOS does not infringe those patents,” an Altria spokesperson stated in an announcement to CNBC.

Altria launched the Iqos device in the United States two years in the past, however it started growth of the product greater than a decade in the past earlier than Philip Morris International was spun off from the firm. The device heats tobacco with out burning it, which is supposed to present customers the similar rush of nicotine with out as many toxins as smoking a cigarette.

Philip Morris sells the device in dozens of worldwide markets and has granted Altria a license to promote it in the U.S. While Iqos does not symbolize a big portion of Altria’s U.S. enterprise, it is a part of the firm’s shift away from conventional tobacco merchandise, which have seen falling demand.

“Infringement of our intellectual property undermines our ability to invest and innovate and thereby reduce the health impact of our business,” Reynolds American spokesperson Kaelan Hollon stated in an announcement. “We will therefore defend our IP robustly across the globe.”

British American Tobacco, the dad or mum firm of Reynolds American, has already pursued comparable authorized motion in opposition to Philip Morris in a handful of worldwide markets. However, courts in the United Kingdom and Greece have sided with Philip Morris in these disputes. Bank of America Securities analyst Lisa Lewandowski wrote in a notice to shoppers that she does not count on Philip Morris or Altria to settle with British American Tobacco, given Philip Morris’ earlier success in opposition to the claims.

Shares of the three tobacco firms have been down 1% or much less in premarket buying and selling Thursday.


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