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Altria Files Complaint Against Juul Labs With International Trade Commission

The company alleges that certain JUUL products infringe certain patents owned by its subsidiary NJOY.
Altria & NJOY logos

RICHMOND, Va. — Altria Group Inc.'s subsidiary NJOY filed a complaint against Juul Labs Inc. with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking a ban on the importation and sale of certain JUUL e-vapor products, including its currently marketed JUUL device and JUULpods.

[Read more: Altria Completes $2.75B NJOY Acquisition]

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the JUUL products infringe certain patents owned by NJOY.

"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 has also filed a complaint against Juul in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware based on the same patent infringement. NJOY ACE is currently the only pod-based e-vapor product to receive marketing authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, which deemed the marketing of the ACE device and three ACE tobacco-flavored pods as "appropriate for the protection of public health."

Richmond-based Altria has a leading portfolio of tobacco products for U.S. tobacco consumers 21 years and older. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include leading manufacturers of both combustible and smoke-free products. In combustibles, it owns Philip Morris USA Inc. and John Middleton Co. Its smoke-free portfolio includes ownership of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC, Helix Innovations LLC and NJOY LLC. The brand portfolios of its tobacco operating companies include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhagen, Skoal, on! and NJOY.

Additionally, Altria has a majority-owned joint venture, Horizon Innovations LLC, for the U.S. marketing and commercialization of heated tobacco stick products and, through a separate agreement, it has the exclusive U.S. commercialization rights to the IQOS Tobacco Heating System and Marlboro HeatSticks through April 2024.

Its equity investments include Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV and Cronos Group Inc.

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