Tobacco

Altria Claims Certain Juul E-Vapor Products Violate Njoy Patents

Complaint asks ITC to ban the importation and sale of certain Juul products
Complaint
Photograph: Shutterstock

Altria subsidiary Njoy has filed a complaint against Juul Labs Inc. with the U.S. International Trade Commission. The complaint alleges some Juul products infringe certain patents owned by Njoy, and it seeks a ban on the importation and sale of Juul electronic vapor products, including its currently marketed Juul device and Juulpods, according to a news release and copy of the complaint from Altria.

“Protecting our intellectual property is critical to achieving our vision,” said Murray Garnick, Altria’s executive vice president and general counsel. “Juul has infringed upon our patents through the sale of its imported products, and we ask the ITC to impose appropriate remedies in response to these trade violations.”

Njoy also filed a complaint against Juul in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware based on the same alleged patent infringement.

“We stand behind our intellectual property and will continue to pursue our infringement claims," Juul said in a statement to CSP

The complaints follow similar ones from Juul, filed on June 30, claiming the Njoy Ace e-cigarette device infringes on several of Juul Labs’ patents.  Altria previously said Juul’s claims against Njoy Ace lacked merit.

In March, Altria announced it would be dropping its investment in Juul and acquiring Njoy, the only pod-based e-vapor product to receive marketing authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Altria acquired Njoy Holdings Inc. for approximately $2.75 billion and exchanged its entire minority economic investment in Juul Labs Inc., Washington, D.C., for a non-exclusive, irrevocable global license to some of Juul’s heated tobacco intellectual property.

Altria, Richmond, Virginia, also owns Philip Morris USA Inc., John Middleton Co., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC, Helix Innovations LLC and Njoy LLC. Its brands include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhagen, Skoal, On and Njoy.

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