During the second quarter, PM USA expanded retail distribution of Marlboro HeatSticks to the Triad and other metropolitan areas in North Carolina, as well as northern Virginia and Georgia.
The lawsuit was filed by three business units of Reynolds – RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co., RAI Strategic Holdings Inc. and RJ Reynolds Vapor Co.
The Reynolds subsidiaries have sought a temporary and permanent injunction against the importation, sale and distribution of PMI’s IQOS products, as well as “increased damages”, alleging that “the defendants’ infringement has been and continues to be be deliberate, willful and unlicensed â.
The ITC decision has been handed to the White House and the US Trade Representative. Altria is considering asking the U.S. Trade Representative to reverse the ban.
The next legal step is a likely appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles patent lawsuits. This process could take up to a year to reach a decision, according to Bloomberg News.
“This matter will now go to administrative review, which is expected to last 60 days,” Altria said.
Responses from manufacturers
Reynolds praised the ITC decision on Wednesday, saying in a statement that âinfringement of our intellectual property undermines our ability to invest and innovate, thereby reducing the impact of our business on health. We will therefore defend our intellectual property in a robust manner across the world. “