Genardo Kanushi
Feb 7, 2024

Tobacco Giants End Patent Infringement on Smoke-Free Alternatives

Patent Litigation


Philip Morris International (PMI) and British American Tobacco (BAT) have reached a global settlement to put an end to their long-standing patent disputes concerning heated tobacco products and vapes. This resolution marks the conclusion of a complex legal battle that has had significant implications for both companies and the development of smoke-free alternatives in the tobacco industry.

The core of the dispute centered around BAT's Vuse vapes, Glo heated tobacco devices, and PMI's IQOS heated tobacco device. BAT had previously been ordered to pay PMI millions of dollars in one case, while PMI faced a setback with the ban on importing IQOS into the U.S. This multi-front patent dispute had been ongoing for years, impacting both companies' operations.

The settlement, which spans eight years, is notable for not involving any monetary compensation. It entails:

• Dismissal of all pending patent infringement cases.
• An agreement to prevent future claims against their current products.
• An attempt to lift the ban on IQOS imports into the United States, a strategic move by PMI.

Both PMI and BAT have expressed their satisfaction with the resolution. PMI CEO Jacek Olczak and BAT CEO Tadeu Marroco highlighted the importance of this settlement in enabling them to focus on innovation and the development of reduced-risk products.

As companies like PMI and BAT shift their focus towards smoke-free products, such agreements allows both companies to prioritize the development of smoke-free alternatives.

Ultimately, it benefits adult smokers by providing them with more choices in reduced-risk products, aligning with the goal of tobacco harm reduction. With legal obstacles removed, PMI and BAT can now advance their commitment to a smokeless future, benefiting consumers, investors, and society at large.