Cuba Prevails in Havana Club Rum Dispute with Bacardi

A two-decades-old battle over who has the right to use the Havana Club trademark in the United States played out quietly at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week with the decision that the rightful owner is a Cuban government company.

The fight pitted Bacardi against Cubaexport, the Cuban partner of French spirits maker Pernod Ricard in the worldwide distribution of Cuba’s most iconic rum — Havana Club.

The fight was about future market share in the world’s largest rum market.

On Wednesday, the trademark office informed David Bernstein, a New York lawyer who represents Cubaexport that the Cuban company’s U.S. registration of the Havana Club trademark had been renewed until Jan. 27.

Olivier Cavil, a spokesman for Pernod Ricard, said a petition has already been filed to renew the trademark for another 10-year period.

Even though the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic ties last year, the blockade prohibits most financial transactions with the island unless they are licensed by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

(Radio Havana Cuba)

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