Habanos S.A wins trade dispute over U.S. Cohiba cigar brand
HAVANA, 31 Dec. The judgment, which is subject to appeal, should allow Cubatabaco to register the Cohiba brand in the United States. A US court has ruled in favor of Cuba over the commercial rights of the Cohiba cigar brand in the United States, the company Habanos S.A, which markets the prestigious cigars, announced on Friday.
Habanos S.A “welcomes the judgment of the Tribunal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (TTAB) of December 20, 2022 in favor of the Cuban Tobacco Company (Cubatabaco), after decades of fighting for the rights of the trademark of Cohiba cigars in the United States,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.
The court ordered “the cancellation of the registration of (the brand) Cohiba by (the American company) General Cigar”, adds Habanos S.A, a joint venture formed by Altadis, owned by the British group Imperial Tobacco Group, and Cubatabaco.
The judgment, which is subject to appeal, should allow Cubatabaco to register the Cohiba brand in the United States, the most prestigious of the 27 brands marketed by the company in around 100 countries.
However, Cohiba cigars cannot be sold in the United States due to the American embargo in force since 1962 against Cuba.
Habanos S.A recalls that the proceedings concerning the rights of the Cohiba trademark in the United States “go back more than 25 years when a procedure was filed before the TTAB in 1997”.
Launched in 1966, the Cohiba brand owes its name to the term used by the Taino Indians, one of the native peoples of Cuba, to designate the rolled tobacco leaves that they smoked and which had surprised Christopher Columbus so much when he arrived on the island more than five centuries ago.
It was the favorite brand of leader Fidel Castro (1926-2016). Cuban tobacco, considered by experts to be the best in the world, is one of the island’s leading export products.
In 2021, sales increased by 15%, for a total of 568 million dollars, despite the effects of the pandemic, according to Habanos S.A.