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Havana Club International Encouraged by dissenting opinion of Judge Silberman Will seek rehearing by full Court of Appeals

The joint venture to consider its options following decision from Court of Appeals

Havana Club International Encouraged by dissenting opinion of Judge Silberman Will seek rehearing by full Court of Appeals

 

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a two to one ruling in a controversial decision stripping Cubaexport of its United States rights in the 35-year-old trademark registration for Havana Club. Havana Club International, a joint venture between Pernod Ricard and Corporación Cuba Ron, has vowed to work with Cubaexport to seek a rehearing from this decision and to continue to defend the Havana Club trademark in the United States.

This decision is based on Section 211, which has been condemned by the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Today’s decision does not give any rights in the Havana Club trademark to Bacardi. To the contrary, Bacardi’s efforts to register Havana Club trademark were rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Ian FitzSimons, General Counsel Pernod Ricard, said: “We strongly disagree with the court’s decision but are encouraged by the dissenting opinion of Judge Silberman who stated ’The court’s opinion, in my view, is unsound doctrinally, both with regard to principles of statutory interpretation and to basic tenets of administrative law.’ Therefore, Cubaexport will seek a rehearing by the Court of Appeals.”
“By virtue of its 1976 trademark registration, Cubaexport owns the Havana Club trademark in the United States. It is surprising that a U.S. court would allow an intellectual property right to be destroyed retroactively by refusing to allow renewal of this trademark registration”, stated FitzSimons.

The decision has no effect on the Havana Club trademark in other countries. Havana Club joint venture has always successfully defended its ownership on the Havana Club trademark, registered in over 120 countries where the Cuban rum is commercialized. In fact, last February, the Supreme Court of Spain decisively rejected Bacardi’s claims to own the Havana Club trademark in that country.

Since the founding of Havana Club International in 1993, the Havana Club brand has become one of the most valuable brands in the spirits industry. Today, Havana Club rums are sold in more than 120 countries around the world. The Havana Club brand is one of the trendiest and most valuable brands in the spirits industry; it is listed as the No. 2 international rum brand worldwide, excluding the U.S. market, and the No. 3 top Elite Brand on the rankings published by IWSR.
 



About Havana Club

Havana Club rum is among the fastest growing spirit brands worldwide, having experienced double digit growth nearly every year since the 1993 joint venture between the Cuban company Corporation Cuba Ron S.A. and the Pernod Ricard Group. The sales of Havana Club rum reached 3,77 million 9-liter cases in the fiscal year ending December 2010. In 2010, Havana Club ranked 22nd in the Impact Top 100 (source: Impact database of international brands of premium international spirits). Havana Club International is based in Havana and exports to 124 countries throughout the world, with the exception of the USA, where Cuban products are banned due to the trade embargo.
Please visit our website for more information: www.havana-club.com

 

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of € 7,643 million in 2010/11. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: ABSOLUT Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 70 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.
Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index.



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