In May 2020, British American Tobacco (BAT) filed a lawsuit against its main competitor PMI in the United States and Germany, accusing that the tobacco heating technology used in its HNB device iqos infringed its patent.
Bat has explained that it has filed two patent infringement claims in the United States, one through the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) and the other through the federal court of Virginia. The tobacco company claimed it was seeking compensation for the damage and a ban on the import of the product.
The lawsuits in Germany and the United States are based on the allegation that the heating blade technology used in iqos is an early version of the technology currently used in bat's glo tobacco heating equipment. Bat originally planned to launch glo Series in Germany this year. PMI began to sell iqo in the United States in 2019. The latter is the only HNB equipment approved to be sold in Germany.
Recently, bat spokesman will Hill said: "if we win, we may get an exclusive order from ITC to prohibit PMI from importing iqos to the United States unless they agree to obtain a license for our patent."
"We have seen media reports that bat has filed legal proceedings but has no opportunity to assess its allegations. However, we will defend ourselves vigorously, "the PMI replied. Earlier this month, at the start of a six day trial at the international trade center in Washington, D.C., an article on marginal markets revealed that the judge was expected to release the findings in May.