Pernod Ricard has accused Bacardi of making “misleading statements” with the introduction of its new “Forever Cuban” campaign for Puerto Rico-made Havana Club rum. These two competitors have been this what seems to be a forever lasting trademark battle over the Havana Club brand. Bacardi produces a expression of Havana Club rum, created in Puerto Rico to be sold in the US, while Pernod Ricard owns the international rights to the Cuba produced Havana Club brand that is sold to the rest of the world. The United States has still got a ban on Cuban products being brought to the United States and this is the real Issue, because Bacardi owns the trademark for the United States.
February 2016, the US Patent and Trademark Office did overturn a Supreme Court decision and gave Pernod Ricard the trademark for the next 10 years. This is what set off the latest rounds of the battle and what looks to be another lengthy legal challenge for Bacardi.
Tensions have come to the surface once again with the launch of Bacardi’s “Forever Cuban” campaign. Experiences of Cuban exiles at the center of the campaign along with the use of Cuban-American actor Raúl Esparza are all causing the rift to become larger.
Havana Club International is holding firm when it comes to the authenticity of its rum portfolio, including white, dark aged and premium rums, all exclusively produced in Cuba. Pernod Ricard and Havana Club International make it clear that “Havana Club rums are distributed globally except in the USA, due to the ongoing trade embargo. “The Cuban Havana Club rum, produced through a joint venture between Cuba Ron S.A. and Pernod Ricard and crafted in Cuba, from local sugarcane to the glass, with the knowledge and expertise of Cubans that has been passed down from generation to generation of Maestros del Ron Cubano.Bacardi has issued a statement in response to Pernod Ricard 's Statement about Bacardi's accuracy.
“In 1959, the Castro regime seized the assets and confiscated the distillery of the Arechabala family, the original owners of Havana Club rum,” the spokesperson continued. “But, they could not steal the Arechabala’s recipe or strip the family of their soul, which is rooted in the craftsmanship of their product and solidifies their continued family legacy.
“After the Cuban regime unrightfully and forcefully confiscated the brand from the Arechabalas, Ramon Arechabala personally transcribed the recipe and gave it to Bacardi as an agreement between the two families – both of whom were exiled from their homeland.
“The ultimate convergence of two Cuban families coming together to continue an iconic brand’s legendary heritage with an authentic product, Bacardi is committed to continuing this legacy.
“It does not matter where Havana Club rum is produced, which in our case is Puerto Rico. Its Cuban authenticity is based on the original recipe, great-taste, craftsmanship, technique and passion since the brand was crafted in 1934.”