Havana Club: Pernod Ricard statement

16 March, 2016

Pernod Ricard has released a statement regarding the on-going battle with Bacardi over the Havana Club name.

It states: “Pernod Ricard is aware that an amended complaint has been filed against Cubaexport by Bacardi & Company Ltd before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on 11 March 2016, and is currently analysing its contents. 

“The litigation has its origins in Bacardi’s effort to seek cancellation of Cubaexport’s trademark registration for Havana Club. In 2004, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled that Cubaexport was the owner of the Havana Club trademark registration.  Bacardi appealed that decision to the courts.  The case was stayed pending the renewal of the trademark registration.

“In February of this year, Cubaexport renewed its registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) through 2026.  This means that the courts will now decide the dispute over the ownership of the Havana Club trademark on the merits.”

General Counsel of Pernod Ricard Ian FitzSimons said: “We are confident that Cubaexport will prevail in defending its registration in the pending litigation. Cubaexport has been the registered owner of the Havana Club trademark in the US since 1976, and owns the rights to the Havana Club trademark everywhere it is sold around the world. We look forward to letting the Court decide the case on the merits.” 

“Havana Club is the reference when it comes to Cuban rum around the world. It has earned its stellar reputation over the years for its quality and the image it conveys. Havana Club is 100% made in Cuba and benefits from its rich soil, warm weather, quality sugar canes, know-how of the Maestros del Ron Cubano and also the Cuban culture. Havana Club has won 27 gold medals in the last 4 years at major tasting competitions around the world, as well as the Craftsmanship Trophy in 2012 (ISC London). It is the N°1 favourite rum brand of bartenders from the 50 World Best Bars and their n°2 favorite spirit brand." (Drinks International – 7 Years Survey, January 2016).

Havana Club International CEO Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne said: “Havana Club is the true spirit of Cuba, and we hope to share it with the American people if the US embargo on Cuban goods is lifted.”

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