Wednesday, February 25, 2015
US Supreme Court hands Cuba a victory over its cigars
The US Supreme Court declined to intervene in a long-running battle between a US and Cuban company over the Chiba cigar trademark. By refusing to hear an appeal, the country's highest court leaves intact a ruling in favor of the Cuban firm.
Due to a US trade embargo with Cuba, Cubatabaco cannot sell its Cohiba cigars in the United States while they are sold worldwide and in Cuba. US company General Cigar sells its Dominican Republic-produced Cohiba cigars in the US. The legal dispute is over whether the Cuban company has to the right to challenge General Cigar’s trademark in the US, despite the embargo, as reported by Agence France Presse.
General Cigar obtained a US registration for Cohiba in 1981 and a second registration in 1995. Cubatabaco had the trademark registered in Cuba in 1972. In the late 70s, it began registering the logo outside Cuba – in 115 countries – but was prohibited from selling merchandise in the US by the Cuban Assets Control Regulation (CACR).