October 6, 2022
Unit-927, JMD Megapolis, Gurugram
Case Studies Insights

Part-1 | Assignee Trend Analysis, E-cigarette

TOP PLAYERS: ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE INDUSTRY

LunaTech is a California-based electronic vaping start-up founded by John Cameron. The company has been building a patent portfolio for cannabis vaping technology and use of e-cigarette devices for the same. The company has filed over 100 patent applications in the time period of 2016 to 2019

Korea Tobacco & Ginseng (KT&G) Corporation is the leading tobacco company in South Korea. The company has released a range on e-cigarette in the market with the name ‘Lil’. KT&G has also partnered up with Philip Morris to launch its e-cigarette label globally, which has already started with its entry in Russia.

Nicoventures was set up by tobacco-manufacturing giant, British American Tobacco (BAT) in 2010. the company exclusively works in the development of non-tobacco nicotine products. The company is also active in the healthcare segment and has launched several smoking cessation products, that can be licensed to medicines standards.

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI Holdings) is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco and second largest tobacco company in the U.S. Reynolds has launched its own brand – Vuse of e-cigarettes. The company was also one of the earliest to incorporate Bluetooth low-energy technology in its Vuse Connect Solo device for pairing and monitoring via mobile app.

Founded in 2013, Nerudia is currently a leading innovator in heated tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other Next Generation Products (NGP). In 2017, the company was acquired by Fontem Ventures, a subsidiary of Imperial Brands. The company also develops vaping e-liquids, and is currently the hub of R&D activities in the NGP domain.

Philip Morris is one of the largest tobacco company in the world. The company has its own range of e-cigarettes, as well as heat-not-burn products – IQOS, and has recently launched its new heating technology ‘IQOS VEEV MESH’ that uses metallic mesh with tiny holes for heating and generating nicotine containing vapor without burning.

TOP ASSIGNEE

JUUL Labs is an electronic cigarette start-up that spun off from Pax Labs in 2017, and is currently the manufacturer of the famous JUUL pods and e-cigarettes. In December 2018, Altria Group had acquired a 35% stake in JUUL. Juul also purchased e-cigarette brand VMR products in 2018, which was supposedly a strategic move of the company for its Chinese market expansion.

JUUL Labs is an electronic cigarette start-up that spun off from Pax Labs in 2017, and is currently the manufacturer of the famous JUUL pods and e-cigarettes. In December 2018, Altria Group had acquired a 35% stake in JUUL. Juul also purchased e-cigarette brand VMR products in 2018, which was supposedly a strategic move of the company for its Chinese market expansion.

TOP ASSIGNEE – FILING & INNOVATION HUBS

INNOVATION HUBS

JUUL Labs is an electronic cigarette start-up that spun off from Pax Labs in 2017, and is currently the manufacturer of the famous JUUL pods and e-cigarettes. In December 2018, Altria Group had acquired a 35% stake in JUUL. Juul also purchased e-cigarette brand VMR products in 2018, which was supposedly a strategic move of the company for its Chinese market expansion.

Lunatech has filed maximum number of patent applications in the year 2016. Between 2016 and 2019, Lunatech applied for nearly 100 patent applications and was awarded 40 patents for vape technologies, vape compositions, sobriety tests, and analysis technology.

FILING TREND

TOP ASSIGNEE – GEOGRAPHICAL MARKET

  • Europe, China and USA have witnessed the highest focus from the top players in the domain.
  • China is the biggest tobacco market globally, but with the new standards coming in picture the scenario is completely going to change. On April 8, 2022, the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) approved technical standards, numbered GB 41700-2022, which among other requirements ban the sale of vapes of any flavor other than tobacco. The standards take effect from October 1, 2022, meaning that some flavoured vape products can be sold in China up until this date, which is beyond the initial date of May 1 stipulated in the latest administrative measures regulating the market. The document also sets a wide range of other technical standards, including permitted ingredients and additives, nicotine levels, testing and safety standards, and accreditation.
  • Europe is the first preference for the top players, as major companies bringing innovation in the domain are British.
  • Korea and Japan have gained equal attention of investors as the count of patent publications in these jurisdictions are more or less comparable.

TOP ASSIGNEE – PATENT SUMMARY

PATENT FOCUS

The patents disclosing Electronic Cigarettes with digital connectivity are mostly focused on System or Device, such as vaporization or atomization devices.

LEGAL STATUS

  • Around 71% of the identified relevant references are ALIVE, out of which only 38% are granted.
  • The ratio of the alive patents are quite high which suggests that the domain is still budding.
  • Further, the high percent of pending patents suggests that the technology has been experiencing a high growth in recent years, and is anticipated to showcase new technologies with the growing R&D in coming years.

KEY PLAYERS – INVESTMENT, KEY INVENTIONS

TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT TREND

Maximum investments observed in the years 2016 & 2019. 

The entire credit can be given to Lunatech.

KEY INVENTIONS

MAJOR CONCEPTS COVERED BY PATENTS

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