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Setback for Reynolds in patent lawsuit

19 Jan 2022. Reynolds American Inc. has suffered a setback with its patent lawsuit against a Philip Morris International Inc. affiliate, reports the Winston-Salem Journal.

In the dispute involving heat-not-burn cigarette technology, a three-judge panel of the federal Patent Trial and Appeal Board confirmed that all Reynolds American Inc. claims for the “915” patent and claims 1 through 12 and 18 through 30 for the ‘542’ patent were not patentable.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the “915” patent “relates to smoking articles that employ an electrical heating element and an electrical power source to provide an inhalable substance in a vapor or aerosol form, without substantially burning or completely burning tobacco or other substances.”

The “542” patent “is directed to articles wherein tobacco, a tobacco derived material or other material is heated, preferably without significant combustion, to provide an inhalable substance ... in a vapor or aerosol form.”

After the ruling, Philip Morris said it was “extremely pleased with the well-reasoned PTAB decisions, which further demonstrate the futility of RJR/BAT’s efforts to litigate this patent family.”

Reynolds, on the other hand, indicated that it could appeal the decision. “We disagree with the decision finding (the ‘915’ ruling) invalid partially contradicting the International Trade Commission’s ruling, which was based on a highly developed evidentiary record, including a six-day trial with live witnesses. Thus, we are confident that we will ultimately prevail on appeal,” a company stated.