SPAIN: Supreme Court to hear Bacardi Havana Club appeal

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Spain's Supreme Court is to hear an appeal by Bacardi for the rights to the Havana Club rum trademark in the country.

The appeal will be the latest stage in Bacardi's battle to gain trademark rights to Havana Club in Spain.

Bacardi holds the Havana Club trademark in the three countries - Croatia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - plus the all-important US market.

It has long claimed that the Havana Club brand and associated assets were illegally confiscated from its original owners - the Arechabala family - by the Cuban Government during the revolution in the country. The company acquired the recipe and Havana Club brand name from the Arechabalas in 1994.

However, Pernod Ricard has a joint venture with the Cuban Government, which also claims ownership to the brand name.

In Spain in 1999, Bacardi and the Arechabala family sued Havana Club Holding, the venture between Pernod and Cuban Government-controlled Cubaexport. It also jointly sued the Republic of Cuba, Havana Rum and Liquors and Cubaexport.

Bacardi unsuccessfully asked Spain's Court of First Instance to annul transferral of the trademark rights from the Arechabala family to Havana Club Holding.

Most recently in the Havana Club dispute, the US District Court for Columbia dismissed a challenge by Pernod and Cubaexport to Bacardi's Havana Club rights in the US.

Bacardi hailed the judgement as a "watershed" moment, but Pernod vowed to fight on.

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