According to foreign reports, according to the website of the International Trade Commission (ITC), the judge said Fimo International’s iqos device infringed two patents owned by Renault America, a subsidiary of British American tobacco.
The next step could be a review by the entire Commission, which has the power to stop production in the United States and plans to complete the investigation on September 15.
Iqos is the only unheated product allowed to be sold in the United States by Altria. Last year, the U.S. Food and drug administration allowed the company to sell iqos to reduce consumers’ exposure to harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.
Renault claims that PMI and Altria have copied the patented technology developed for its VUSE vibe and VUSE solo e-cigarette products and have applied for FDA approval. The company complained to ITC in April 2020.
Altria responded with its own patent infringement claims and filed a separate lawsuit against Reynolds in May. Altria also filed an application with the U.S. patent and Trademark Office, challenging the validity of six Reynolds patents.
The judge must determine whether the temporary removal of such products is suitable for public health and what alternatives consumers have.
Renault said it hoped the judge would recommend an import ban, adding that unauthorized use of its inventions would damage the company’s investment and innovation capabilities, thereby reducing the health impact of the business.
Philip Morris said the judge’s findings were a lengthy process without an immediate step, and it would challenge the Committee.
British American Tobacco says its lawsuit in the United States is part of a global plan.
PMI also argues that even if patent infringement is found, it is not in the public interest to exclude iqos from the United States.
Andre calantzopoulos, executive chairman of PMI, said the judge had to determine whether even temporary removal of such products would apply to public health and what alternatives would be available to consumers. If we delete an existing product and the only substitute people have is cigarettes, then this is the consideration of public health interests, which must be considered.