Today saw yet another twist in the ongoing row over the Havana Club trademark

Today saw yet another twist in the ongoing row over the Havana Club trademark

Bacardi has filed a Freedom of Information Act request in the US, after the country's authorities granted licence for Pernod Ricard to renew its registration of the Havana Club trademark in the country.

The company, which has been in long-term disagreement with Pernod over the ownership of the brand name, made the move earlier today, following last month's decision by the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US to grant Pernod and its Havana Club partner, Cuban state-owned Cuba Ron, the licence to secure registration of the rum trademark in the US.

Bacardi maintains that it is the legitimate owner of the brand following its purchase of the rights to the Havana Club trademark from original owners the Arechabala family in 1994. Pernod, however, lays claim to the name after the Cuban state nationalised the Arechabala's operations following the country's revolution in 1959.

Today, Bacardi said it has requested "all documents, communications and files that were created, used, or maintained by the US Patent & Trademark Office, Office of Foreign Assets Control, US Department of State, Executive Office of the President of the United States, the National Security Council, US Department of Treasury and/or any third parties relating to the Havana Club rum trademark registration action".

The firm said: "The action stems from an 11 January decision by the US government … to abruptly reverse its position and grant the licence. Within 48 hours, after years of inactivity, the PTO approved the renewal of the registration of a trademark for a brand which was confiscated without compensation from its founders into the hands of the Cuban government – even though Congress has prohibited US courts from recognising it."

The US agencies are required to respond to Bacardi's request within 20 business days, a spokesperson for the company told just-drinks.

The US is the only remaining market where Pernod's Havana Club Holding JV does not own the trademark. In late-2014, Cuba and the US set about normalising their relations, although the US trade embargo of Cuban products remains in place.