Reynolds Vapor Denied New Trial in Vuse Case

    Photo: md3d

    R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. was denied a new trial in its Vuse Alto intellectual property dispute with Altria Group, according to Bloomberg Law.

    In September, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina awarded Altria Client Services more than $95 million after finding that Reynolds Vapor Co.’s Vuse Alto e-vapor product infringed three Altria patents.

    Following its loss, Reynolds Vapor Co. requested a new trial, stating that “Altria’s improper injection of inflammatory evidence regarding patent infringement allegations against Reynolds in other cases denied Reynolds a fair trial.”

    Judge N. Carlton Tilley Jr. disagreed. “That the jury did not agree with” Reynolds “does not mean the trial was unfair,” he wrote in an opinion issued Jan. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. 

    Tilley also denied Reynolds’ motion to reduce the damages jurors awarded to Altria Client Services in their Sept. 7 verdict.

    “This was a fair trial,” Altria said in a statement. “There is no basis for another trial, and we are pleased that the jury correctly found that Reynolds Vapor has infringed a number of our patents.”

    At issue in this case were three patents awarded to Altria Client Services by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based on filings dating back to April 2015. The jury found that Reynolds Vapor violated Altria’s patents covering the pod assembly used in Vuse Alto.