We take action against third parties for infringing company trademarks and other intellectual property rights.
For example, PM USA has filed lawsuits against retailers who sell counterfeit versions of PM USA cigarettes and importers who bring them into the U.S. The company has also filed civil lawsuits against website operators who sell counterfeit and illegally-imported versions of PM USA cigarettes.
During the past several years, PM USA filed almost 200 lawsuits against nearly 4,000 retailers and Internet sites for violating its trademark rights.
We also actively work with legislators and regulators at both the federal and state levels to help develop public policy designed to combat illicit trade activity and impose more stringent penalties for violations of anti-trafficking laws.
At the federal level, we were an early supporter of all major anti-contraband tobacco laws enacted during the past 15 years, including The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act. The PACT Act, enacted in 2010, prohibits the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products over the Internet without the seller paying the required state excise taxes. In addition, it generally makes cigarettes and smokeless tobacco non-mailable through the U.S. Postal Service.
We have been a leading supporter of state model anti-contraband legislation that requires all cigarettes to be tax-stamped, requires all businesses selling cigarettes to be licensed, imposes significant reporting and record-keeping requirements and increases state civil and criminal penalties.