Monday, March 21, 2016

The Battle for "Havana Club" Heads to Court in the United States

Bacardi "Havana Club"
     Well the next round of the battle in the United States for the use of the "Havana Club" brand is headed to court.   "Bacardi has upped its battle with Pernod Ricard and the Cuban government, calling on a US court to strike their joint venture’s Havana Club rum brand from the register."   

     In its latest court filing, Bacardi argues that Pernod Ricard and the Cuban agency Cubaexport engaged in “elaborate, misleading, fraudulent and deceptive activities concerning the obtaining, maintenance and renewal of the Havana Club trademark in the US”.   A senior Bacardi official has also alleged that Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest spirits producer, “intentionally and knowingly” hid “pertinent facts” that undermine its claim to the Havana Club trademark in the US.   It is the latest move taken by Bacardi since US officials in January extended Pernod Ricard and Cubaexport’s trademark over Havana Club to 2026, forcing the brand dispute into the courts.
Cuban "Havana Club"
     "The litigation has its origins in Bacardi's effort to seek cancellation of Cubaexport's trademark registration for Havana Club. In 2004, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that Cubaexport was the owner of the Havana Club trademark registration.  Bacardi appealed that decision to the courts.  The case was stayed pending the renewal of the trademark registration.   "In February of this year, Cubaexport renewed its registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) through 2026.  This means that the courts will now decide the dispute over the ownership of the Havana Club trademark on the merits."

     "Havana Club is the reference when it comes to Cuban rum around the world. It has earned its stellar reputation over the years for its quality and the image it conveys. Havana Club is 100% made in Cuba and benefits from its rich soil, warm weather, quality sugar canes, know-how of the Maestros del Ron Cubano and also the Cuban culture.

     This issue is not going to just to away.  I feel like it is something that is going to be a stubborn issue that is going to be tough to resolve.  I will keep you filled in as more information comes available.