Bacardi Continues Legal Actions to Protect Its Havana Club TM Rights in Spain

on 15/03/11 at 8:06 pm

Booze News

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.

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