Click through to view Pernod Ricards Havanista range

Click through to view Pernod Ricard's Havanista range

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Pernod Ricard has moved to side-step its long-running legal row with Bacardi over the Havana Club trademark in the US, by lining up a new rum brand for the US called Havanista.

Pernod has lined up Havanista for the US exclusively, and will launch the brand within weeks of the country's embargo of Cuban products being lifted. The announcement, made earlier today (14 May), coincided, however, with a refusal by the US Supreme Court to review a law preventing Pernod from renewing its registration of the Havana Club trademark in the country.

Pernod and Bacardi have been fighting over the Havana Club trademark since Bacardi formed an alliance with the original owners of the name, the Arechabala family, in 1994. The protracted row has played out in courts around the world, although the US is the only remaining market in which Pernod and its Cuban JV, state-owned Cuba Ron, does not own the trademark.

In unveiling Havanista, the French company said today that it has registered the new name with the US Patent and Trademark Office last year. If the embargo is lifted in the US, therefore, the JV would launch the rum “within a matter of days or weeks,” said Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Havana Club International.

The new rum is produced at the same distillery in Cuba as Havana Club, Cottin-Bizonne said.

Pernod CEO Pierre Pringuet added that “nobody is going to deprive us of the right” to sell a Cuban rum in the US, should the embargo end. The country introduced the embargo in 1960, after all US businesses in Cuba were nationalised without compensation after the country's revolution.