• Tajikistan, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan revoke Bacardi's tradmark
  • Pernod Ricard's Havana Club Holding takes ownership
  • HCH looks to "develop (Havana Club) in these three markets”
Pernod Ricard has claimed the Havana Club trademark in three European markets after Bacardis ownership was revoked

Pernod Ricard has claimed the Havana Club trademark in three European markets after Bacardi's ownership was revoked

Bacardi has had its registration of the Havana Club trademark revoked in three Eastern European markets, just-drinks understands.

In a series of legal papers seen by just-drinks, the patent offices of Tajikistan, Croatia and Kyrgyzstan have terminated Bacardi's registration of Havana Club due to its non-use of the term in the countries. The news follows last week's ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court granting ownership of Havana Club to Pernod Ricard's joint venture with Cuban Government-controlled Cubaexport.

According to one set of documents out of Tajikistan, the appeal board of the country's patent office, GU Centre NPI, ruled in May last year that the filed trademark Havana Club would cease to have effect in the country.

Also in May last year, the State Intellectual Property Office in Croatia handed down a decision revoking Bacardi's holding of the trademark. The office was responding to a request submitted by Pernod's joint-venture with the Cuban government, Havana Club Holding (HCH), in July 2009. Bacardi's ownership of the trademark in the country was subsequently ceased by the office and back-dated to the same date as HCH's revocation request. Bacardi was also instructed to compensate HCH HRK2,370 (US$438) for “procedural charges”.

The Croatian documents also state that, in a separate proceeding, Bacardi was advised in September 2008 that a revocation request had been filed for the Havana Club trademark. The company was given 60 days to respond, but “failed to respond within the given deadline”.

Finally, in Kyrgyzstan, a decision was handed down by the inter-district court in the capital, Bishkek, on 14 December. A writ of execution, dated 18 January, terminated “in full and early validity” Bacardi's ownership of the trademark in the republic, “basing on the fact of its non-use … during three consecutive years”.

Having registered the trademark in the country in June 1998, Bacardi “hasn't been using the trademark regarding … importing (or) selling itself or through agents”. The papers noted that Bacardi “failed to appear” at the court hearing.

When contacted by just-drinks today (10 February), a spokesperson for Pernod said that HCH has subsequently taken ownership of the trademark in Tajikistan, Croatia and Kyrgyzstan. Whilst conceding that the three countries did not represent key markets for HCH, the spokesperson noted that “we're going to develop (Havana Club) in these three markets”.

Bacardi, which sells its own Havana Club rum in the US, did not respond to requests for comment on the news when contacted by just-drinks this week.

The authorities do not allow HCH's version to be sold in the US, as the country has had a trade embargo against Cuba, following the revolution of 1959.