- VPRB’s electronic cigarette patent is one of the first originally filed; it dates back to 2009
- The popularity of auto-draw technology in vaping devices creates an ‘opportune’ time for the company to consider licensing intellectual property
- The e-cigarette and vaping industries are predicted to grow at a global CAGR of 24.9 percent from 2019 to 2025
As demand for e-cigarettes and vaping technologies grows into a multibillion-dollar industry, key players in the space are seeking to protect their proprietary technologies against patent theft. One such innovator is VPR Brands LP (OTCQB: VPRB), a multi-vertical tiered technology holding company in the cannabis space, including vaping. The company is seeking to protect its e-cigarette utility patent, one of the first originally filed electronic cigarette patents dating back to 2009, against infringement. At the same time, VPR Brands is exploring alternative routes of licensing or even selling its patented auto-draw technology, a valuable asset (http://nnw.fm/56fvU).
This conflict over proprietary rights has a notable history in the industry. In 2014, The Economist reported the story of Fontem Ventures, a Netherlands-based subsidiary of Britain’s Imperial Tobacco that sued 11 American e-cigarette makers (http://nnw.fm/80NRy). A sea of litigation and acquisitions later, Imperial remains a key player in the e-cigarette and vaping market and is the owner of several broad patents, the analysis found. At that time, the American vaping market was just beginning its growth and was valued at a mere $1.5 billion.
Years later, with the market having quadrupled in size, the stakes are markedly higher. The value of trademarks in this space has grown, and companies must be increasingly vigilant to safeguard their patent rights. Grand View Research found that North America is the largest global regional market in the e-cigarette and vaping space at an estimated $4.6 billion in 2018. The industry is predicted to grow at a global CAGR of 24.9 percent from 2019 to 2025. Globally, the e-cigarette and vaping market was seen in 2018 as reaching $10.3 billion and expanding at a CAGR of 24.9 percent through 2025 (http://nnw.fm/4qJYw). The impressive rate at which the industry is growing has created an entrepreneurial attraction to newcomers in the space, causing a critical need for more established companies like VPR Brands to protect their trade secrets.
“The surge of the vaping category for nicotine, cannabis and CBD in the last few years has reached billions of dollars in sales,” VPR Brands CEO Kevin Frija stated in a news release. “This has resulted in opportunities for our patented auto-draw technology, which we believe is now preferred by many users of pod systems and ‘cigalikes’.” Frija added that these conditions have created an “opportune time to consider licensing, enforcement, or potentially a sale of [the company’s] intellectual property to one of the larger players in the space who may then be in a better position to snub out many of the counterfeit or black market vapes.”
VPRB is also seeking to develop a monetization infringement enforcement plan for its American utility patent, the company said. It is exploring its legal options and strategies related to prosecuting offenders and is gauging available remedies. Additionally, VPRB is investigating buttonless vape devices that initiate vaporization from the user’s airflow inhalation, which are suspected to infringe on VPRB’s utility patent.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.VPRBrands.com
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to VPRB are available in the company’s newsroom at http://nnw.fm/VPRB
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