Pernod Ricard Introduces New Cuban Rum Exclusively for US
Pernod Ricard has moved to side-step its long-running legal row with Bacardi over the Havana Club trademark in the US, by lining up a new rum brand for the US called Havanista, according to Just-Drinks.com.
Pernod Ricard has developed Havanista for the US exclusively, and will launch the brand within weeks of the country's prohibition of Cuban products being lifted. The announcement, made May 14th, coincided, however, with a refusal by the US Supreme Court to review a law preventing Pernod Ricard from renewing its registration of the Havana Club trademark in the country.
Pernod Ricard and Bacardi have been fighting over the Havana Club trademark since Bacardi formed an alliance with the original owners of the name, the Arechabala family, in 1994. The extended row has played out in courts around the world, however, the US is the only remaining market in which Pernod Ricard and its Cuban JV, state-owned Cuba Ron, does not own the trademark.
As for Havanista, the French company said it registered the new name with the US Patent and Trademark Office last year. If the restriction were lifted in the US the JV would launch the rum “within a matter of days or weeks,” said Jérôme Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Havana Club International.
The new rum is produced at the same distillery in Cuba as Havana Club, Cottin-Bizonne said.
Pernod Ricard CEO Pierre Pringuet added, “nobody is going to deprive us of the right” to sell a Cuban rum in the US, should the embargo end. The country introduced the embargo in 1960, after all US businesses in Cuba were nationalized without compensation after the country's revolution.