The renewed battle continues over the U.S. trademark registration of Havana Club Rum.
Bacardi has filed a Freedom of Information Act to find out why the U.S. government last month granted the renewal of the registration to the Cuban government. The company seeks all documents, communications and files that were created, used or maintained by the government related to the action, according to a press release.
“We are filing this Freedom of Information Act request because the American people have the right to know the truth of how and why this unprecedented, sudden and silent action was taken by the United States government to reverse long-standing U.S. and international public policy and law that protects against the recognition or acceptance of confiscations of foreign governments,” said Eduardo Sánchez, senior vice president and general counsel, Bacardi, in a press release.
Bacardi has long maintained that the Cuban government acted illegally with the brand.
Havana Club Rum’s founding family fled Cuba in 1960. The family failed to renew the brand name in 1973, and Cuba took ownership of the trademark three years later. The country and Pernod Ricard sell about 4 million 9-liter cases of Havana Club outside the U.S. a year.
Last month, the U.S. government awarded the brand’s trademark registration to the Cuban government.
However, Bacardi says that it legally obtained acquired control of the trademark rights after the family fled. Bacardi has been selling a Puerto Rican-made rum, based on the original Cuban recipe, in the U.S. under the Havana Club name since 1994.
The company pointed out that previous U.S. administrations have denied license applications from the Cuban government regarding the Havana Club trademark registration.
Bacardi will pursue all possible legal and other actions to defend its position surrounding the legitimacy of its rights and ownership of Havana Club rum, the company sayd.
Havana Club is Cuba’s most famous rum brand.