Philip Morris International is seeking damages from British American Tobacco and an injunction against BAT’s heat-not-burn (HNB) device glo, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
PMI alleges that some technological features of glo infringe on two of PMI’s Japanese patents and is seeking ¥100 million ($898,500) in damages and a permanent injunction against glo.
The story quoted a BAT spokeswoman as saying the company will be challenging the validity of the patents upon which PMI is basing its case. It said that though growth had slowed on Japan’s HNB market, both BAT and PMI remained focused on selling their respective devices there while rolling them out in other countries.
HNB devices have something of a clear run in Japan where it is not possible to sell electronic cigarettes that deliver nicotine.
And PMI and BAT have been given a head start in that market where Japan Tobacco has been slow to roll out its Ploom TECH device and take advantage of consumers’ willingness to switch to HNB.