Official Statement - Pernod Ricard USA to continue fight against misuse of ‘Havana Club’ name in the US

By Press Release | 5 August 2011

  • Pernod Ricard USA to consider options following decision from Court of Appeals

Pernod Ricard USA pledged to continue to fight against a competitor’s use of the 'Havana Club' name in the US for non-Cuban rum following today’s controversial ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The panel refused to block Bacardi from using the 'Havana Club' name in the US to sell its non-Cuban spirit despite evidence that the name misleads consumers into believing that Bacardi’s 'Havana Club' rum comes from Cuba.

Significantly, the panel noted that this decision does not give Bacardi any trademark rights in the 'Havana Club' name. In that connection, the panel acknowledged that the US Patent and Trademark Office has refused Bacardi’s attempt to register various Havana trademarks (such as Havana Select, Old Havana and Havana Primo) because those marks would deceive purchasers into believing that the rum came from Cuba.

In 2006 Bacardi began to distribute in small quantities in the US its own spirit under the 'Havana Club' label. Yet, the Bacardi bottle contains rum made in Puerto Rico and not in Cuba, as the name implies. 

For more than 15 years, millions of cases of authentic Cuban rum have been marketed outside the US under the name 'Havana Club' by a joint venture between Pernod Ricard and Corporación Cuba Ron. In the US, the joint venture’s 'Havana Club' rum cannot be sold because of the embargo on Cuban products.

Ian FitzSimons, General Counsel of Pernod Ricard, said: “We disagree with the court’s decision, which is unfair to consumers in the US who are being deceived by a product labelled 'Havana' which has no connection whatsoever with Cuba. It is important to note that this decision does not grant any right in the ’Havana Club’ trademark to Bacardi.

"We are determined to continue to fight for fair competition in the US market where ownership of the ‘Havana Club’ trademark dates back to 1976.”

Pernod Ricard USA’s parent company, the French wine and spirits distributor Pernod Ricard, is a partner in the Havana Club joint venture that has always successfully defended its ownership of the 'Havana Club' trademark in over 120 countries where the Cuban rum is registered and commercialized. The extremely successful sale of Cuban 'Havana Club' rum in the rest of the world is unaffected by today’s decision. 

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Havana Club, Bacardi, Pernod, Ricard

View next/previous articles

5 Aug 2011 -

just the Research

Currently reading -

Official Statement - Pernod Ricard USA to continue fight against misuse of ‘Havana Club’ name in the US

There are currently no comments on this article

Be the first to comment on this article

Related articles

INDIA: SPI Group goes with Aspri Spirits for Stolichnaya in India

SPI Group has consolidated distribution of its Stolichnaya vodka portfolio in the Indian market.

just The Facts - US Spirits: Irish Whiskey Outsells Single Malt Scotch

There can't be too many key spirits markets where Irish whiskey outsells single malt Scotch, but the US has just become one. Here, just-drinks brings you some key facts from the 2011 sales figures for spirits in the US.

just the Preview – Beam Inc Q4 & FY

Beam Inc is set to release its Q4 and full-year results on Friday (3 February). Below, we take a look at the highs and lows for the company in the three months to the end of December.

just-drinks tagline

Not a member? Join here

Decrease font sizeDecrease font sizeDecrease font size Increase font sizeIncrease font sizeIncrease font size Comment on this article Email this to a friend Print this page