Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Drink giants prepare for battle over iconic Havana rum

Havana Club rum
Havana Club rum

Global drink giants Pernod Ricard and Bacardi are about to lock horns in what is likely to be a bitter court battle over Havana Club rum.

Paris-based Pernod – the company behind Scotch whiskies including The Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and 100 Pipers – said yesterday it was studying the contents of a fresh complaint filed by Bacardi in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The move follows a US decision to grant Pernod – through Caribbean partner Cubaexport – an American trademark for its iconic Cuban rum in the latest sign of thawing relations between Washington and Havana.

Bacardi, the largest privately held, family-owned spirit producer in the world, has been making its own Havana Club – in Puerto Rico – for sales into the US since 1994.

Since 1994, the authentic Cuban drink has been sold globally – but not in the US – by Havana Club International (HCI), a joint venture between Pernod and the Cuban government.

Bacardi’s challenge to Pernod’s new trademark registration in the US, which has a decades-old ban on imports of Cuban produce, comes just as US President Barack Obama prepares for an historic visit to Cuba’s capital at the start of next week.

The Havana Club name has been the subject of legal wrangling in the US, and Spain, and at the World Trade Organisation for years.

Earlier this year, Bacardi said it was shocked and very concerned” by the decision to award Pernod a US trademark.

It added: “This US administration clearly sends the message that it no longer supports US law and accepted worldwide principles that prevent registration or renewal of trademarks obtained through confiscation, without compensation to the original owners.

“Bacardi has and will continue to pursue all the necessary legal actions to defend its position surrounding the legitimacy of Bacardi’s rights and ownership of Havana Club rum.

“As we have maintained all along, Bacardi is the legitimate owner of the brand.”

Bacardi has a strong claim on the Havana Club name, having acquired the recipe and trademark rights from the exiled Cuban family who founded the business in 1934. The Bacardi company also has its roots in Cuba.

But Pernod stuck to its guns yesterday, insisting the new US trademark – valid until January 27, 2026 – was a renewal of rights dating back to 1976.

Ian FitzSimons, general counsel for Pernod added: “We look forward to letting the court decide the case on the merits.”

HCI chief executive Jerome Cottin-Bizonne said: “Havana Club is the true spirit of Cuba, and we hope to share it with the American people if the US embargo on Cuban goods is lifted.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]