Philip Morris, British American Tobacco At Loggerheads As Industry Evolves

  • Philip Morris International Inc PM and British American Tobacco PLC BTI migrated from simple cigarettes to high-tech, rechargeable gadgets as heated tobacco, vapes, and nicotine pouches gained traction, Bloomberg reports.
  • Tobacco companies that once competed for the best marketing executives are now chasing the top patent lawyers to win disputes following an explosion of inventions to deliver nicotine without the most harmful effects of smoking.
  • The report noted that Philip Morris filed more than 20 times as many new patent applications for smoke-free innovations between 2018 and 2020 than it did in the two-year period a decade earlier.
  • BAT filed more than 350 patents related to new categories in 2021, up from about 50 in 2015. 
  • The situation could intensify as the big players have looked to exit Russia, the fourth-largest cigarette market by volume and an essential region for heated tobacco products.
  • In 2021, the court barred Philip Morris from importing the IQOS heated tobacco sticks into the U.S. after losing a legal battle with BAT.
  • Rivals started selling similar vaping pods after Juul Labs Inc launched nicotine salts, the report added.
  • Swedish Match AB tried to shut down rival makers of nicotine pouches.
  • The report further noted that more litigation is looming as the companies move into the smokeless category.
  • Price Action: PM shares closed higher by 1.68% at $93.62 on Tuesday.
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