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Altria and Lorillard get into a fight for M

Published on November 8th, 2007 16:11

Letter M was point for debate among two American tobacco companies, Altria (also know as Philip Morris Companies Inc.) and Lorillard.

Altria in one of the biggest tobacco enterprises and has in its brand portfolio such reputed cigarette brands as: Marlboro, Basic, Bond Street, Classic, L&M, Parliament, Red & White, Virginia Slims and many other brands.

Lorillard is the 18th oldest company in the United States and the third largest American tobacco company. Under Lorillard’ trademark is produced the illustrious menthol cigarette Newport and Maverick, Old Gold, Kent, True, Satin, and Max.

Parent producer of the Marlboro cigarettes accused Lorillard Company of the letter M usage to promote its Newport cigarettes. Philip Morris company states that letter M is allusion for its Marlboro brand and that Lorillard ought to stop the usage of the letter for its cigarettes.

From the legal point of view, Lorillard has the right to use the letter “M”, as in February, Lorillard filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register new variations of Newport, “M Newport Blend” and “M Newport Blend the Way to Chill”.

The conflict between these two tobacco companies becomes a court case. So, Philip Morris claims to interdict the usage of letter “M” on packs of Newport cigarettes, as this can confuse the potential smokers.

Philip Morris also asked the court to obligate Lorillard to pay all financial and psychological damages in regarding to this cause.