By Ileana Ferrer Fonte
Havana, May 17 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday denounced new U.S. actions against Cuban trademarks, a position that threatens the protection of industrial property.
In a declaration published in Granma newspaper, the Foreign Ministry mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court refusal to allow Cubaexport to defend its right to renew the registration of the Havana Club rum at the Patent and Trademark Office.
That step faces the rejection of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), attached to the Department of Treasury, to grant the Cuban firm the license that would has allowed it renewing the registration of trademark in that country from 1976 to 2006.
Such a refusal was presented under the protection of Section 211 of the Omnibus Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in late 1998. It prohibits the recognition and renovation of trademarks associated with properties nationalized by the Cuban government.
This is the result of maneuvers by the anti-Cuba Mafia from Miami and its allies within Congress, in return for financial contributions they received from the Bacardi company, “the real promoter of those actions against Cubaexport, to misappropriate the brands and markets of the Cuban rum,” states the note.
The Foreign Ministry recalled that since 1995, Cubaexport, together with the French company Pernod Ricard, distributor of Havana Club rum, has defended its right to register the recognized brand.
That intention was supported in the decision made by the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization, which ruled against the United States and demanded the elimination of such an illegal Section.
During the trial that now has come to an end, the OFAC stated that it would not issue the license that Section 211 demands, because the Department of State had ordered not to do it because it does not correspond to the U.S. policy on Cuba.