(by Shanken News Daily) With the U.S. Supreme Court deciding earlier today not to intervene in the long-running Havana Club trademark dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi, Pernod has registered a new trademark—Havanista—with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so that it can market a Cuban rum brand in the U.S. if the embargo with Cuba is eventually lifted.
The introduction of the Havanista trademark follows the U.S. High Court’s decision to leave intact the U.S. Treasury Department’s refusal to renew the Havana Club trademark that was held by Cubaexport, the state-owned agency that produces Havana Club. That decision paved the way for Bacardi to sell its own Havana Club brand in the U.S., which the rum giant has been doing in small quantities in the Florida market for the past five years.
Pernod—which has sold Havana Club around the world since forming an alliance with Cubaexport in 1993—and Bacardi have been embroiled in the trademark dispute since 1994, when Bacardi applied for a U.S. trademark for Havana Club. Pernod sells nearly 4 million cases of Havana Club annually, even though the brand is embargoed from the world’s largest premium rum market.