Monday, 12 September 2011

No homeland for Havana Club

After enjoying a couple of Cuba Libre this weekend I remembered the lawsuit brought by Pernod Richard against Bacardi. Well, it happens that my drink shouldn’t have been called ‘Cuba Libre' after all.

Perhaps some of you may remember that Pernord Richard, the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., requested an injunction to stop Bacardi U.S.A. from using "Havana Club" as the name was misleading consumers --the rum is made in Puerto Rico, rather than in Havana, Cuba. [Did I drink 'Puerto Rico libre' then?]

Back in April this year the U.S. District Court in Delaware dismissed the lawsuit as it was reported in this blog and I am afraid we missed the ruling by the US Court of Appeals in August. Anyways, as the said goes: better late than never, the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously in favour of Bacardi and decided that Bacardi has a legitimate right to use the name Havana Club for Puerto Rico rum.

Yet, Pernod Ricard USA has assured that the company will continue to fight against Bacardi’s use of the ‘Havana Club’ name in the US. He also refers to the panel’s declaration noting that the “decision does not give Bacardi any trademark rights in the “Havana Club” name.” He continues mentioning that the panel “acknowledged that the US Patent and Trademark Office has refused Bacardi’s attempt to register various Havana trademarks (such as Havana Select, Old Havana and Havana Primo)".

For more information see here and here.

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