The patent covers a unique digital counter the lets the user know precisely how many puffs are remaining in the e-cigarette, Logic CEO Eli Alelov told Convenience Store Decisions.
“This is new technology that will change the way customers look at electronic cigarettes,” Alelov said. “We’re very proud to be launching this technology to continue helping convenience store retailers grow e-cigarette sales.”
Logic Technology, based in Livingston, N.J., could begin marketing the product within the next 10-12 months, Alelov said. He anticipates the digital counters to be available nationwide by the beginning of next summer.
Logic markets its e-cigarettes in traditional and menthol, which are both available with varying levels of nicotine. The counter will be made available in all varieties.
The announcement of this patent comes at a crucial time for Logic, which is one of several e-cigarette companies vying for shelf space in a competitive market. Alelov expects the patent to give him a “competitive advantage” over some of the other players in the market.
According to a UBS Investment Research report, the e-cigarette category has been growing by triple digits, reaching an estimated $250 million during 2011. That number is expected to double by the end of 2012 and the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association (TVECA) expects the category to quadruple by mid 2014.
Of the more than 100 individual brands currently available in the marketplace, most are owned by small companies that import their products from China and operate direct-to-the-consumer e-commerce sites.
However, a growing number of manufacturers are beginning to focus on the brick and mortar marketplace, particularly convenience stores, which are regarded by many retailers and wholesalers as the number one sales channel for e-cigarettes, according to a report from Wells Fargo Securities.