In the United States, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has banned Altria and Philip Morris from selling IQOS in the country. The Wall Street Journal reported this.
The regulator has ruled in a patent case initiated by a competitor of the companies – R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
“Encroachment on our intellectual property undermines our ability to invest and innovate,” RJ Reynolds Tobacco explained why it filed a lawsuit against Altria and Philip Morris.
The lawsuit has yet to pass an administrative inspection, which will last two months. If the regulator’s decision remains in force, Philip Morris will not be able to sell IQOS devices from November. The resolution will take effect after the President of the United States approves it.
British American Tobacco in several international markets filed a similar lawsuit against Philip Morris. At the same time, the courts of Great Britain and Greece sided with Philip Morris.
In turn, Altria and Philip Morris have already stated that they will appeal the decision.
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