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S. Korean firm sues BAT over alleged trademark infringement

Consumer Electronics 16:57 November 29, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- Vitabon Co., a South Korean venture firm, said Friday it has launched a trademark infringement suit against tobacco giant British American Tobacco (BAT).

Vitabon claims that its nicotine-free aromatherapy device, named Sense, and BAT's hybrid e-cigarette product, glo sens, confuse consumers due to their similar names.

Vitabon said it has filed the lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court, demanding 110 million won (US$93,000) in compensation and that manufacturing and sales of glo sens be banned in the country.

"Despite the fact that Vitabon Sense is a product designed to help customers quit smoking and glo sens is an e-cigarette product, the methods of use are very similar and their customer bases very close," a Vitabon official said. "Vitabon Sense was also released prior to glo sens."

BAT Korea said it plans to file a countersuit against Vitabon, saying that the names of the two products are not confusing to consumers at all.

These images, captured from their respective websites, show Vitabon Co.'s Sense (L) and tobacco giant British American Tobacco Korea's glo sens. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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