THE BRITISH LIBRARY

In through the outfield blog

09 July 2012

Patented electronic cigarettes

Recently a busload of passengers were detained by police on a motorway when someone used an electronic cigarette, as reported by the BBC.

This certainly gave publicity to the concept of trying to quit by using a device that delivers the impression and sensation of smoking, usually with nicotine. According to the Wikipedia article on electronic cigarettes "The device's components usually include a small liquid reservoir, a heating element, and a power source, which may be a battery or a wired USB adapter."

The article cites the first patent as by Herbert Gilbert. This is the Smokeless non-tobacco cigarette, applied for in 1963. A list of patent specifications in the relevant class published through the PCT "World" system is here.

I have before me an example of one that was recently handed to me outside a railway station. A pen-like device, encased in a clear plastic case, the wrapping states that it contains nicotine to the equivalent of 60 cigarettes. The name is Freedom e-cigs, and boasts of being the "UK's top e-cig." According to the website, a good point in its favour is "good throat kick", which sounds very odd to this confirmed non-smoker.

As so often, the company missed a trick by not asserting the use of the trade mark as registered by using the familar ® icon. UK trade mark 2578582 was registered in July 2011. While not required, it  shows that the company is determined to protect its intellectual property. Here is the full trade mark.

Freedom electronic cigarette trade mark

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