GENERAL CIGAR PREVAILS OVER CUBATABACO IN TRADEMARK DISPUTE
Editor’s Note: A question I often get asked is “What happens if and when the embargo with Cuba ends?” To which the next question often goes, what happens to General Cigars and Altadis with their Cuban trademarks. Many know that Altadis should have a smooth transition, but when it comes to General and their trademarks, it becomes a bit more tricky. Here is a press release with the most up-to-date information on this age old battle:
Richmond, VA–General Cigar was recently vindicated by the courts again in the nearly 16 year old legal battle waged by Cubatabaco to determine rightful ownership of the Cohiba® trademark in the United States. After losing its legal battle in the Second Circuit, Cubatabaco continued to exhaust all available legal channels by bringing this matter before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”).
The TTAB granted General Cigar’s motion for summary judgment, and dismissed with prejudice Cubatabaco’s petition to cancel General Cigar’s Cohiba registrations. The TTAB ruled that because the federal courts have held that Cubatabaco may not sell Cohiba cigars in the U.S. or acquire any interest in the Cohiba mark, Cubatabaco lacks any property interest in the Cohiba mark. Cubatabaco therefore has no standing to challenge General Cigar’s registrations of the Cohiba mark.
General Cigar’s President Dan Carr said, “This ruling once again affirms what we have believed all along: That Cubatabaco has no merit in challenging General Cigar’s ownership of the Cohiba trademark in the United States.”
General Cigar received its first registration of the Cohiba trademark in the U.S. in 1981, and again in 1992. The company has sold its Dominican Cohiba cigar in the U.S. since the early 1980s.
About Cohiba Cigars
True cigar connoisseurs recognize Dominican Cohiba cigars as one of the finest brands available in the U.S. market. Critically acclaimed for their meticulous construction and refined taste, the core brand of Cohiba cigars is complemented by these premium collections: Cohiba Black, Cohiba XV, Cohiba Puro Dominicana and Cohiba Edición Diamante.