Monday, August 31, 2009

Trademark rights as to Cuban products

Trademark issues concerning Cuban products are a big deal.

From Rum, cigars Cuban in name only [AP]:

Cuba said it registered the Havana Club trademark in the United States in 1976 after the Arechabalas let their claim on it expire. It has sold the rum internationally since 1993 in a joint partnership with French spirits consortium Pernod Ricard.

So far the U.S. courts have sided with Bacardi based on a 1998 federal law that prevents the registration or renewal of U.S. trademarks tied to companies nationalized by the Cuban government. Cuba has appealed its most recent case to the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Washington.

Of cigars:

Cuba never registered its version of Cohibas in the United States but still sued General Cigar. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with General Cigar, which has factories in the Dominican Republic and Honduras and produces versions of signature Cuban brands Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Bolivar and Punch.

U.S. industry estimates show 85 million Cuban cigars could be shipped to the United States annually in a post-embargo world, slashing profits for U.S. companies that sell about 255 million premium cigars a year.

Geographically misdescriptive?

See also

Cuba honors Herbert Matthews, the man who "invented" Fidel Castro

**Of the comment below about trademark law, we have such laws to minimize confusion among consumers. The laws are for the benefit of the consumer.


Blogger Jeff said...

Trademark rights gives security to products.As the U.S. and Cuba consider better ties, such trademark issues would have be settled before any easing of the embargo.The true argument is over who can claim to produce authentic Cuban rum especially if the country opens up to global commerce.Cohiba was founded in Cuba to make cigars for Castro and visiting dignitaries. I prefer to Buy Cigars online .

5:47 AM  

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