The dispute between HCMC and Philip Morris is widely reported on and has had a significant effect on the former’s stock prices. So what specifically occurred?
This essay examines the patent infringement story in great detail.
Who are HCMC and Philip Morris?
A US-based corporation called HCMC (short for Healthier Choices Management Corp.) offers clients products that promote alternative, healthier ways of living.
Yet, Philip Morris, a US-based business that sells tobacco products all over the world under the Marlboro brand, is frequently considered to be a part of the Big Tobacco.
HCMC Lawsuit with Philip Morris Case Background
In Fort Myers, Florida, HCMC specifically owns the 18000 square foot Adas Natural Market, a full-service grocery shop.
Additionally, it is the owner of the Paradise Health and Nutrition shops in Melbourne, Florida.
Also, the business operates eight vape shops across the southeast of the United States that sell vape as an alternative to traditional cigarettes under the brands The Grab Bag, Vulcan Vape, Vapor Max, and The Vape Shop.
These shops have an impressive selection of e-liquids and vape accessories that give customers their nicotine fix without the tar and ash of traditional cigarettes.
Patent of HCMC
A unique nicotine imitation product’s production technique as well as a vape technology are both included in HCMC’s diverse patent portfolio.
One of the patents they hold relates to the Q-Cup, a tiny quartz cup that consumers can fill with CBD or cannabis (the legality of which varies by location and can be obtained from a third party) or leave empty.
The Q-Cup is heated without coming into contact with the concentrate when it is inserted into the Q-Unit.
Overall, this offers consumers looking for vape concentrates for either recreational or medical purposes a small, portable alternative.
HCMC Philip Morris Case
For their product IQOS, a Philip Morris alternative to tobacco, HCMC launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Philip Morris.
Naturally, Philip Morris defends itself by asserting that it has not violated any patents, that it has served close to 14 million consumers with the product, that it has been a longtime player in the cigarette alternative market (with investments over $3 billion), and that it has been completely transparent about both this aspect of its operations and the IQOS product.
Status of the HCMC Philip Morris Case
Philip Morris has won the case, and to challenge that, HCMC filed a Request for Leave to Modify, which was also denied. In 2022, HCMC is considering filing an appeal with the help of attorney Cozen OConnor.
Details of HCMC Lawsuit with Philip Morris
The 170 Patent, which refers to the patent HCMC possesses on electric pipes, distribution systems, heating coils, etc., is what HCMC is suing Philip Morris over in essence. According to rumors, PM incorporates its 170 technology in some capacity into the IQOS solution.
The part about what HCMC is looking for in their judgment, however, was more intriguing.
Take a look on below statements which taken from their legal submission to the Georgia Courts:
Thus, Healthier Choices humbly asks the Court to award the following remedy and enter judgment in its favor:
A judgment according to 35 U.S.C. that at least one claim of the 170 patent has been violated by the defendants and their production, importation, offering for sale, sale, and/or use of the defendants’ IQOS product, according to section 271(a);
c) A judgment pursuant to 35 U.S.C. manufacturing, importing, offering for sale, selling, and/or using the defendants’ IQOS product infringes at least one claim of the 170 patent, according to section 271(b);
c) ordering defendants to account for and pay damages sufficient to compensate the plaintiff for the defendants’ infringement of the 170 patent, as well as pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and fees, as well as further damages for any ongoing post-verdict or post-judgment infringement;
d) requiring the court to impose additional damages for any infringing sales that were not presented at trial and ordering an accounting for those sales;
b) Giving Healthier Choices credit for its costs and expenditures related to this action;
f) Providing Healthier Choices with any additional equitable remedy to which it may be entitled and to which it may request; and
g) Affirming any additional remedy the court deems necessary.