HAVANA,Feb.22th The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has accepted an application to renew a trademark for the term ‘Havana Club’ until 2026.
Drinks maker Pernod Ricard markets the spirit through a joint venture with the Cuban government’s export company Cubaexport.
In a statement on Friday, February 19, Pernod Ricard said it was “pleased to confirm” that the trademark had been renewed in the US for the next ten years.
In January, Cubaexport was granted an initial renewal until January 27. A further application to renew the trademark until 2026 was also submitted and has now been accepted.
“The renewal of the registration means that the dispute over ownership of the Havana Club brand in the US can be returned to the courts, where it can be decided on its merits,” Pernod Ricard said.
Cubaexport and drinks maker Bacardi have been in dispute over who owns the rights to market the spirit in the US, where Cubaexport does not currently sell its products.
Bacardi has sold Havana Club-branded rum in the US since 1994. It acquired the rights from Havana Club’s founding family, who fled Cuba around 1960. The rum is made in Puerto Rico due to the Cuban embargo.
Although plans are in place to lift the long-standing embargo, it is not known when that will be.
In 1976, Cubaexport was granted a US trademark but it was taken away by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2006.
Cubaexport pursued the matter all the way to the US Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case in 2012.
Earlier this month, WIPR reported that Bacardi had filed a freedom of information request with the US Department of the Treasury seeking information about Cubaexport and Pernod Ricard’s trademark renewal.
Bacardi said it wanted to see all documents, communications and files that were created, used or maintained in relation to the ‘Havana Club’ trademark registration.
Ian Fitzsimons, general counsel of Pernod Ricard, said: “We are confident that Cubaexport will prevail in defending its registration in the pending litigation.”