Bacardi continues legal actions to protect its Havana Club rum trademark rights in Spain
March 15, 2011
Hamilton, Bermuda, March 15, 2011 ˗˗ Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, continues to pursue all available legal options to protect its legitimate ownership and trademark rights to the Havana Club brand in Spain.
In a brief filed with the High Court earlier this month, Bacardi Limited asked the Spanish Supreme Court for clarification of some aspects of its ruling where the High Court recognized the respect of Spanish law for fundamental rights violated by an expropriation without compensation. While the Court clarified its interpretation of some of the technical aspects in the initial ruling, Bacardi remains focused on the remaining legal options available.
On February 3, the High Court of Spain released its decision that the transfer of the trademark registration of Havana Club rum in Spain by Cuba and its partners was not consistent with Spanish public law. The Spanish Court ruled that Havana Club Holdings “does not deserve to be considered a good faith third party purchaser of the Spanish trademark of Havana Club,” and noted that the company Jose Arechabala, S.A. (and Bacardi as its legal successor) was illegally deprived in Spain of the Spanish trademark registration for Havana Club. The Court however did not restore the Spanish trademark registration to Bacardi solely on the grounds of a technicality involving the statute of limitations applied to the claim.
It is critical to note that Spain’s High Court declared that Spanish law does not recognize in Spain the validity of the transfers to Cuba and its partners of the Spanish Havana Club trademark registration on the basis of the confiscation of Havana Club ordered by the Cuban State in 1960.
Bacardi will continue to defend its fundamental rights against expropriation having purchased the trademark rights in Spain from the original legal owners, creators and proprietors of the brand.
Bacardi has won all U.S. court cases relating to the rights to use the HAVANA CLUB brand, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally-recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels, including some of the world’s favorite and best-known products: BACARDI® rum, the world’s favorite and best-selling premium rum as well as the world’s most awarded rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, the world-leader in vermouth; CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in Mexico and a top-selling premium tequila in the United States; and other leading and emerging brands. Bacardi was founded in Santiago de Cuba, February 4, 1862, and currently employs more than 6,000 people, manufactures its brands at 27 facilities in 16 countries on four continents, and sells in more than 100 markets globally. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. www.bacardilimited.com