R.J. Reynolds (RJR) has settled Fuma International’s claims that Reynold’s Vuse products infringed on the manufacturer’s e-cigarette patents, reports Reuters. RJR settled the suit just four days before the trial was slated to begin, according to a Thursday filing in North Carolina federal court.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles found in May that RJR’s products infringed parts of two Fuma patents. A jury in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, was set to consider on Nov. 15 whether RJR infringed additional parts of one of the patents, whether the patents were valid, and what damages RJR owed, among other things.
Fuma sued in 2019 for infringing patents related to an e-cigarette design with a cartridge and power source. The complaint said RJR copied Fuma’s design after meeting with Fuma about its e-cigarette technology in 2010.
Fuma asked for up to $135 million in damages, according to court filings.
Vuse is one of the most popular e-cigarette brands in the U.S. RJR introduced the Vuse Solo in 2013 and the Vuse Ciro in 2017. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave RJR permission to market Solo in October, its first-ever authorization for a vaping product.
The tobacco giant argued the relevant parts of the patents were invalid based on prior art that disclosed the same design, according to Reuters. Details of the settlement weren’t immediately available.