Pernod confirms Havana trademark renewal19th February, 2016 by Amy Hopkins
Pernod Ricard has confirmed that the trademark for its Havana Club rum has been officially renewed in the US until 2026, meaning a court battle with Bacardi now looms.
The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has renewed Cuba-made Havana Club’s trademark for the next 10 years.
Cubaexport, the Cuban entity that owns the trademark for Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club rum in the US, will now defend its registration against Bacardi, which distributes its own brand of Havana Club rum in the country.
Pernod Ricard owns the trademark rights to Havana Club rum in markets around the world, besides the US, as part of a joint venture with the Cuban government – called Havana Club Holdings.
The French drinks group said it is “confident” that it will be able to defend its rights to the Havana Club rum trademark in the United States following the recent ruling by the PTO.
Bacardi acquired the US rights from Havana Club’s founders, the Arechabala family, and has been selling its Puerto Rico-made rum in the market since the mid-1990s.
The family’s business assets were seized by the Cuban government during the Cuban revolution more than 60 years ago.
The Cuban government and Pernod Ricard have not been able to sell their Havana Club rum in the US due to a long-standing embargo against importing Cuban goods into the US, which has been in place since 1961.
The PTO announced its intention to renew Cubaexport’s Havana Club trademark in the US in January this year.
Earlier this week, the Bermuda-based drinks group formally requested that the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reverse its decision to grant the renewal of Cuba-made Havana Club’s trademark in the US, reiterating that it is the “current and lawful owner of all rights and claims” related to the mark in the country.