The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted the brand to Cuba export earlier in the week in a case that was contested by Bacardi, Xinhua reported.
While Bacardi was born in Cuba, it has been based in Bermuda since abandoning the island in 1959. With most Cuban products banned from being sold in the US, Bacardi has marketed a Puerto Rico-made rum under the Havana Club name.
The decision by the USPTO will allow Cuba export to register the brand in the US, after January 27 when the current 10 year brand registration period finishes. The company has already applied to register the brand from 2016 to 2026, according to Olivier Cavil, a spokesperson from France’s Pernod Ricard.
Pernod Ricard and Cuba export jointly own the Havana Club international company. However, Bacardi is still waited for a ruling by the Columbia district court, where it is also contesting the rights to the Havana Club brand in the US. When asked about the impact of the USPTO decision, Cavil said “it is not highly significant… as the embargo remains in place.” Cuban products are still banned from the US due to the economic blockade in force since 1962.