The Strategist

Washington Recognized Cuba's Right on the Havana Club Brand

01/18/2016 - 14:02

Cuban authorities were allowed to register the trademark of the famous rum brand Havana Club in the US market. Before, Cuba has been in a long-standing dispute with the private company Bacardi for this brand’s eligibility.

Matthias Rhomberg via flickr
Matthias Rhomberg via flickr
Cuban state enterprise "Cubaexport" has got the right to register the trademark of the famous rum brand Havana Club in the US market. Office of Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company only a 15 days-license, yet, according to sources, it is likely to be extended to ten years.

This decision will aggravate the dispute between the Cuban government and the private company Bacardi, which has been insisting on its right on the trademark for already about 20 years. Bacardi sells rum Havana Club in the United States since 1994, having bought the rights from the founders of the rum production, who fled Cuba in the 1960s.

Cubaexport has sent a request to the Patent Office for an extension of the license for at least ten years. "We expect that the request will be granted," – said an official representative of the Bureau.

At the time, he explained that the decision "will have no impact on the business because of the embargo," which prohibits sale of Cuban food, alcohol and tobacco in the US. However, due to the fact that Washington is steadily growing mellow towards Cuba, access for Cuban goods to the US market my be opened soon.

The process of normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States intensified in late 2014. At the beginning of December, sides held several rounds of negotiations, having agreed to restore diplomatic relations.

April 14, US President Barack Obama announced the decision to review the status of Cuba, and on May 29, Washington has excluded Cuba from the list of countries - sponsors of terrorism, removing a major obstacle to the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

August 14, the national flag of the United States had been raised at the American Embassy in the Cuban capital for the first time 54 years. US Secretary of State John Kerry attended the opening ceremony at the embassy US. During his speech, he called it a historic moment. "This is a chance to overcome old barriers and open new possibilities" - said Kerry.