Altria Group, Inc. (“Altria”) (NYSE: MO) said today that a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina found that Reynolds Vapor Company’s (“Reynolds Vapor”) Vuse Alto e-vapor product infringed three patents owned by Altria Client Services. In deciding in favor of Altria, the jury awarded $95,233,292 in past damages through June 30, 2022. Post-trial proceedings will address ongoing damages through the expiration of Altria’s patents in 2035. At trial, Altria urged the jury to find a royalty rate of 5.25%, which the jury accepted in returning its award of past damages.
“Patents are at the core of innovation and we take very seriously protecting our intellectual property,” said Murray Garnick, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Altria. “We are pleased that the jury recognized the importance of Altria’s innovation and the value of its patent rights.”
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.
The case is Altria Client Services vs. Reynolds Vapor Company, et al.
Altria has a leading portfolio of tobacco products for U.S. tobacco consumers age 21+. Altria’s Vision by 2030 is to responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a smoke-free future (Vision). Altria is Moving Beyond Smoking™, leading the way in moving adult smokers away from cigarettes by taking action to transition millions to potentially less harmful choices - believing it is a substantial opportunity for adult tobacco consumers, Altria’s businesses and society.
Altria’s wholly owned subsidiaries include leading manufacturers of both combustible and smoke-free products. In combustibles, Altria owns Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA), the most profitable U.S. cigarette manufacturer, and John Middleton Co. (Middleton), a leading U.S. cigar manufacturer. Altria’s smoke-free portfolio includes ownership of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC), the leading global moist smokeless tobacco (MST) manufacturer, and Helix Innovations LLC (Helix), a rapidly growing manufacturer of oral nicotine pouches. Altria also enhances its smoke-free product portfolio with exclusive U.S. commercialization rights to the IQOS Tobacco Heating System® and Marlboro HeatSticks®, and an equity investment in JUUL Labs, Inc. (JUUL).
Altria also owns equity investments in Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI), the world’s largest brewer, and Cronos Group Inc. (Cronos), a leading Canadian cannabinoid company. The brand portfolios of Altria’s tobacco operating companies include Marlboro®, Black & Mild®, Copenhagen®, Skoal® and on!®. Trademarks and service marks related to Altria referenced in this release are the property of Altria or its subsidiaries or are used with permission.
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Altria Client Services
Altria Client Services