The diversified ITC group has forayed into electronic cigarettes to offset shrinking sales of its conventional tobacco cigarettes due to recurrent price increases. The Kolkata-headquartered cigarettes to hotels group has launched two vaping devices, or e-cigarettes, under the Eon brand. The products have been designed in-house but are being manufactured in China, according to The Economic Times-India.
Zippo Manufacturing Company (ZMC), announced that it has been granted a preliminary injunction in Germany against Cygnet UK Trading Ltd., a Lorillard subsidiary, preventing Cygnet from using the “blu” brand name for e-cigarettes sold in that country.
The Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main agreed with ZMC that the “blu” e-cigarette brand creates a likelihood of confusion with the ZMC’s European Union Community trademark “BLU”, used in connection with its line of high performance, precision butane lighters and fuel. The court found the confusion was due to the high degree of similarity between the marks, an existing similarity between the parties’ respective goods and the ZMC BLU mark’s “at least” average degree of distinctiveness.
ZMC’s action in Germany and the resulting preliminary injunction against Cygnet is part of ZMC’s ongoing, global effort to protect its worldwide portfolio of its BLU trademarks. ZMC has commenced proceedings to oppose applications to register, or to cancel trademark registrations, for the “blu” e-cigarette brand in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the EU. Sweden has already rejected outright Lorillard’s application to register a trademark for “blu.”
An e-cigarette manufacturer is a step closer to seeing its product classified as a medicine—a move that could see the firm supplying the devices for National Health Service (NHS) prescriptions, according to a story in The Birmingham Post.
Nicolites said it was “well advanced” in talks with the medicines regulator over plans to have its products prescribed by medical professionals.
It is one of two known manufacturers—alongside Nicoventures, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco—to apply for a license from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the NHS body responsible for setting down guidance on specific kinds of treatment and care for people using the NHS in England and Wales.
The news—which comes shortly after Nicolites received a major boost with Tesco Express, the second-largest retailer in the world measured by profits, signing up to sell its products—stands to give Nicolites a competitive advantage since it could market its product as a “medicine.”
Nikhil Nathwani, managing director of Nicolites, said the company hoped to achieve marketing authorization sometime this year.