The two leading brands in the vaping and heated tobacco sectors, Juul and Philip Morris International (PMI), are both engaged in active fights with Chinese companies over their intellectual property rights.
Fog & Frog Technology, a Shenzhen-based e-cigarette start-up company, received a letter of notice in late August from a trademark agency representing PMI subsidiary Philip Morris Products. It concerned the QOQ Honor tobacco-heating device, which is currently fundraising online. The letter claims the device infringes PMI’s intellectual property rights and amounts to unfair competition against its IQOS device.
Meanwhile, Juul announced it had filed trademark claims against 30 entities in China for selling counterfeit Juul products on eBay. The case was filed in the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Virginia, which ordered eBay to remove those products from its US site. At the same time, the PayPal accounts of the accused companies were frozen by the court.