Healthier Choices Management Corp. (HCMC) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris Products over the IQOS tobacco heating product.
Among other products, HCMC markets vapor products, including the Q-Cup, a small quartz cup that heats cannabis or CBD concentrate.
“We look forward to proving our allegations of infringement in this matter and intend to continue to move forward against any and all companies that infringe upon our intellectual property in both the tobacco and cannabis categories,” said Jeff Holman, CEO of HCMC, in a statement.
IQOS is already the subject of two other patent infringement proceedings filed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co (RJ). One is proceeding before the International Trade Commission and seeks to stop the importation of IQOS into the United States; the other is a patent infringement action currently pending in the Eastern District of Virginia. R.J. Reynolds’ patents are unrelated to and unaffiliated with the patents asserted in the HCMC case.
Philip Morris USA parent Altria Group rejects RJR’s claims and has countersued the company, alleging that RJR’s own electronic nicotine delivery systems products infringe multiple patents owned by Philip Morris International (PMI) and Altria Group.
In April, British American Tobacco (BAT) sued PMI in the United States and Germany for patent infringement. BAT’s claim focuses on IQOS’ heating blade technology, which the company says is an earlier version of the technology used in BAT’s Glo tobacco heating devices.