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Ten Electronic Cigarette Makers Sued in U.S. Patent Dispute
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Imperial Tobacco Group PLC  is suing Lorillard Inc., Vapor Corp. and eight other electronic cigarette makers for U.S. patents alleging infringement on its intellectual property.

Ten lawsuits were filed in Los Angeles federal court March 5, by Fontem Ventures BV according to court filings. The court was asked to rule that its patents were valid and the defendants to pay unspecified damages.

“The reason for filing this lawsuit is to protect our intellectual property and seek fair compensation for the infringements of our patents,” said Marc Michelsen, director of communications and corporate ventures at Fontem Ventures in Amsterdam.

  
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E-cigarettes generate a smoke-like vapor that doesn’t burn tobacco and the sales of the e-cigarette could reach up to $5 billion in the U.S. in 2015, according to analysis by Bloomberg Industries. Dragonite International Ltd. was bought by Imperial Tobacco for $ 75 million in September. They said they would start two new products in 2014 as more smokers switch to e-cigarettes.

According to the Financial Times, spokesmen for both Lorillard, NJOY and Vapor didn’t respond to e-mails.

VMR Products LLC, Ballantyne Brands LLC, CB Distribution Inc., Spark Industries LLC, Logic Technology Development LLC, FIN Branding Group LLC, Victory Electronic Cigarettes Corp. and DR Distribution LLC. are the other companies Fontem Ventures BV.

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