Bacardi fires latest salvo in Havana Club rum battle with Cuba
Miami (AFP) – Bacardi filed suit Monday against the United States
demanding an explanation of its decision to let Cuba sell Havana Club
rum in America once the US trade embargo against the communist island is
That green light, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, is
illegal, Bacardi said in the latest salvo of a long-running legal battle
that goes back to the Cuban revolution of 1959.
Bacardi, which had made rum in Cuba under its own name and that of
Havana Club, left the island in 1960 after Fidel Castro came to power.
Bacardi filed the new request under the Freedom of Information Act and
wants all documents, communications and files that were created, used,
or maintained by US authorities to grant Cuba the Havana Club trademark
Bacardi makes rum in Puerto Rico and markets it in the United States and
The USPTO decision was made in violation of the language and spirit of
US law, Bacardi said in a statement.
“The American people have the right to know the truth of how and why
this unprecedented, sudden and silent action was taken by the United
States government to reverse long-standing US and international public
policy and law that protects against the recognition or acceptance of
confiscations of foreign governments,” Bacardi senior vice president and
general counsel Eduardo Sanchez said.
Bacardi insists it bought the rights to Havana Club from the Arechabala
family, which made the rum until its distillery was seized by the Cuban
government after the revolution.
Bacardi said it will pursue all legal options to defend it position in
the Havana Club legal wrangle, which has dragged on for decades.
In 1976, Cuba, which also continued to produce Havana Club, was able to
register the trademark in the United States. But it lost the trademark
in 2006 when it could not present the necessary license to the Treasury
Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations in July of last
So Cuba received special permission from the US government in January
and was able to file a new request for the Havana Club trademark
Source: Bacardi fires latest salvo in Havana Club rum battle with Cuba –
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