BAT statement on patent enforcement success in the U.S.
30 November 2021
BAT’s Assistant General Counsel, Gareth Cooper, said in a statement:
“U.S. President Biden and the United States Trade Representative have affirmed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (“ITC”) determination that Philip Morris’ and Altria’s IQOS products infringe two patents owned by the BAT Group’s U.S. subsidiaries. As a result, Philip Morris and Altria will no longer be able to import or sell the infringing IQOS products in the United States.
“Today’s announcement provides a measure of success for our enforcement of IP rights to ensure we can continue to innovate, as is common practice among innovation-based industries. As we have strenuously noted, there was no reason to overturn the policy and legal arguments already rejected by the foremost global experts on patent law, and the ITC’s exclusion order was properly issued and consistent with the public interest.
“Reducing the harm from cigarettes is one of the most important public health movements globally, thus developing a wide range of consumer-acceptable choices of FDA-regulated products that may be less harmful than cigarettes requires a tremendous investment in innovation. We have made significant investments in developing the industry’s broadest portfolio of innovative e-cigarette technology as part of fulfilling our goal to reduce the harm from cigarettes, and we will continue to defend our IP robustly across the globe.
“Innovation is laborious and cost-intensive work, and we remain confident in our patent defence strategy and the ITC’s findings.”