Cohiba Vs. Cohiba: Latest Ruling Issued In Cuba’s Favor

The see-saw court battle over the Cohiba brand has moved back in favor of the Cubans, with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling yesterday to cancel General Cigar Co.’s Cohiba trademark registration. General sells the non-Cuban version of the Cohiba brand in the United States, where Cuban Cohibas cannot legally be sold.

General Cigar says it will “immediately” appeal the ruling, and that sales of its versions of Cohiba will continue—the cigars will still be sold in the United States. Unlike the yellow-and-black design of the Cuban Cohiba, non-Cuban Cohibas have always been distinguished by the red dot that appears within the “O” of the logo. 

“Cubatabaco’s challenge to General Cigar’s ownership of the Cohiba trademark in the U.S. has no merit and this decision by the TTAB will have no impact on General Cigar’s plans to manufacture, sell, market and enforce the Cohiba mark in the U.S.,” said Régis Broersma, president of STG’s North America and rest of world divisions.

The ruling is so new that the Cubans have yet to release a statement; a lawyer for Habanos said a statement from the Cuban side would be coming soon.

The fight over the Cohiba has gone on for nearly 26 years, dating back to January 1997. The courts have ruled in favor of both parties over the years. The cigar brand was created in 1966 in Cuba, but wasn’t commercialized until 1982. Cohiba is Cuba’s flagship brand that’s not only the most expensive, but the most recognizable worldwide.

Source: CA Magazine

One thought on “Cohiba Vs. Cohiba: Latest Ruling Issued In Cuba’s Favor”

  1. I’m not an intellectual property lawyer, but I’ve long thought the issues over the name “Cohiba” are different from those pertaining to names confiscated by the Cuban government from private parties. It’s my understanding that “Cohiba” was first used in post-revolutionary Cuba by the Cuban government itself. I don’t care for the Cuban government, but General Cigar seems to have sought to share in the “Cohiba” reputation created by the Cubans. I’d be happy enough to give the Cubans the name “Cohiba” but deny them the benefit of the names they stole.

    Liked by 1 person

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