German court confirms ownership of names Cuba and Havana

German court confirms ownership of names Cuba and Havana

HAVANA, Jun 22   The Court Superior Regional Court of Munich (Germany) confirmed that names such as Cuba and Havana are inadmissible for cigars of another origin, indicating a statement released today in this capital by the International Habanos S.A. Corporation.
The note states that the Corporation, a world leader in the marketing of Premium cigars, welcomes the decision of said German body.

The Court of that city, like the court of first instance, ruled that Cuba, Havana and their derivatives are geographical denominations of origin with a different reputation in relation to cigars and, therefore, enjoy the corresponding extended protection under of trademark law.

The legal dispute was triggered by the indiscriminate use of terms such as Semilla de Habano, Piloto Cubano, Wrapper of Habano, Wrapper of Habano from Ecuador, Wrapper of Semilla de Habano from Ecuador or Binder Habano Jalapa-Nicaragua to advertise cigars from other sources.

This motivated Habanos S.A. filed a lawsuit in 2020 to defend the protected designations of origin of its emblematic products.

The appeal judgment confirmed that the use of these terms is inadmissible because a seed originally cultivated in Cuba that is multiplied elsewhere over several crop cycles does not have the genetic characteristics, nor the climate and soil conditions that influence its the properties and quality of Cuban tobacco.

The Court of Justice also points out that the island of Cuba and its capital, Havana, enjoy a solid reputation linked to the quality of cigars and their components, precisely due to the conditions that the island possesses, to the selection of the manufactured tobaccos and the method of production.

Smokers and non-smokers from all over the world associate appellations of origin with prestigious products and this is confirmed by the Court of Munich in its judgment.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the use of such expressions in dispute referring to protected designations of origin is intended to take advantage of their reputation and prestige, thus transferring the idea of quality to products of different origins.

Habanos, S.A. alleges that Cuban seeds are cultivated exclusively in this country, for the production of tobacco, a product of high international recognition to the point that experts consider it the best in the world.