The "guilt of universal matching" can be put off. The brand of electronic cigarette cannot be both a referee and an athlete

 

 

General smoke cartridge

 

 

What is generic configuration? The electronic cigarette is divided into two parts: cigarette cartridge and cigarette rod. If brand A's cigarette cartridges can be inserted on brand B's cigarette poles for use, the electronic cigarette industry often calls brand A's cigarette cartridges as brand B's universal distribution. Because some generic products are more affordable or have more diverse tastes, the original brands think that they hurt their own commercial interests, so they call them "infringement". In short, this is more like discussing whether "compatible products" are legal and reasonable. Recently, the national unified electronic cigarette trading management platform was officially launched as a national standard product, and began trading in many of the first batch of pilot cities. The electronic cigarette industry has once again moved towards full compliance

 

 

What is generic configuration? The electronic cigarette is divided into two parts: cigarette cartridge and cigarette rod. If brand A's cigarette cartridges can be inserted on brand B's cigarette poles for use, the electronic cigarette industry often calls brand A's cigarette cartridges as brand B's universal distribution. Because some generic products are more affordable or have more diverse tastes, the original brands think that they hurt their own commercial interests, so they call them "infringement". In short, this is more like discussing whether "compatible products" are legal and reasonable.

 

 

Recently, the national unified electronic cigarette trading management platform was officially launched as a national standard product, and began trading in many of the first pilot cities. The electronic cigarette industry has once again made a big step towards full compliance. But in an orderly place, there was a little discord. A small number of practitioners once again pushed out the "generic distribution infringement theory" in the past few years, when the brand was in disorderly competition under the drive of capital, in an attempt to drive the compliant online products out of the batch platform under the influence of public opinion.

 

 

Now the trend of this incident has become confusing, and various theories are simply untenable. First, some practitioners define generic distribution as infringement, but the premise of "infringement" is that this "right" - intellectual property is real and effective. However, in fact, the State Intellectual Property Office has issued a "Decision on Examination of Request for Invalidation" in April this year, making a decision to "declare all patent rights invalid" for the smoke bomb interface patent. That is to say, individual brands have no right foundation for a long time. Before the above patent application (before January 2020), such smoke bomb design has been known to ordinary consumers, not original, and should not be protected by the patent law. Therefore, any manufacturer can use such appearance design. Even so, a German brand did not use the conventional existing design, but created the design of its own smoke bomb, and applied for and held a patent.

 

 

Why is generic distribution not recognized as infringement in the legal level? The root is that the structure of the appearance of the smoke bomb is too simple, the original content is too low, it does not have breakthrough innovation, or it does not attract the visual attention of consumers, so it cannot be recognized as the appearance patent. Especially for the electronic cigarette, the real core technology lies in the atomization core, tobacco oil and other links closely related to safety. The interface shape is more like forming a set of industry basic standards based on the shape of atomizing core, power supply structure, etc.

 

Therefore, for the entire electronic cigarette industry, the advantages of universal distribution undoubtedly outweigh the disadvantages. It is precisely because of the existence of this basic standard that the upstream supply chain can cooperate more efficiently, universalize a large number of components, avoid manufacturing a large number of incompatible products, and reduce the possibility of resource waste caused by unsalable sales. In terms of terminal retail and consumption, e-cigarette retailers can more flexibly formulate product portfolio and stock plan. Consumers can also greatly reduce the cost of switching between different brands.

 

It can be said that just because of the existence of universal distribution, every brand that has passed the national standard review can stand on the same running line again, and compete fairly based on safety and product quality. Instead of letting a few brands continue to play the capital game of the previous non compliance era, and monopolize users with the moat constructed by interfaces to conduct unfair competition. In fact, this logic transformation is the embodiment of the tobacco industry's "national interests first, consumer interests first".

 

 

The reason why these discordant voices can confuse the public is that they have linked universal distribution with "insecurity" and "tax impact", but this logic is actually just a concept of stealing. It is true that there were once universal products produced by small workshops without security guarantee. But the original sin is not the generic matching itself, but the lack of self-discipline of some practitioners regardless of consumer health. Now, the relevant laws and regulations are gradually improved, and nonconforming products naturally have no place to live.

 

 

From the perspective of "consumer interests first", the electronic cigarette industry does not need some brands to be both referees and athletes. Since the direction of supervision became clear, relevant departments have established a complete supervision and evaluation system for electronic cigarette enterprises. The strict product standards and the complete circulation mode through the tobacco system have fully guaranteed the product safety and quality.

 

 

In particular, we need to be alert to some voices that link generic allocation with "tax impact". We should know that the tobacco industry is related to the national interests, and the administrative departments adhere to the requirements of total volume management and supply and demand management, so they will naturally consider and regulate the production scale, wholesale and suggested retail prices. Therefore, the statement of "tax impact" is naturally untenable. Compared with the traditional cigarette industry, there are products of different price ranges, but this statement never appears.

 

 

Electronic cigarette is not a fashion product, nor a luxury product. The price must be set on the premise of safety and compliance to meet both price sensitive consumers and improvement needs. However, if the monopoly of interfaces is supported, it is to ignore the real needs of the tobacco market and allow some brands to monopolize consumers with independent interfaces equipped with one-time high investment tobacco poles again. In fact, it is to make the electronic cigarette industry return to the capital oriented logic before this, which deviates from the value of "national interests first".

 

Although China has become the real bridgehead of global electronic cigarette products, it has the deepest accumulation in both R&D and production. However, in the past few years, the retail sector has witnessed explosive growth, which is almost caused by the influx of large amounts of capital to start the money burning war. Now, the industry has been brought into full compliance with the regulation, which is a historic transition period for the return of electronic cigarettes to the essence of the tobacco industry. It is also time to end the argument that "generic distribution infringement theory" was born in the barbaric growth period.

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