Senators Seek to Prevent Havana Club from Being Honored as Trademark in U.S.

A bill that would prohibit U.S. courts and executive agencies from "recognizing, enforcing or otherwise validating any assertion of rights by an individual of a trademark used in connection with a business or assets confiscated by the Cuban regime, unless the original owner of the trademark expressly consented to the transfer of the trademark."

That perfectly describes Havana Club.  In 1994, a Cuban rum-maker, Cuba Ron, filed for and received a U.S. trademark on the name “Havana Club,” named after a club that the Cuban regime seized in 1959. Around the same time Cuba Ron filed for a trademark, Bacardí, one of the world’s largest liquor producers based in Puerto Rico, purchased the trademark and recipe from descendants of the original Havana Club founder and owner.

This legislation would prohibit Cuba Ron and its partner, Pernod Ricard, from exercising rights related to Havana Club given that the Cuban regime illegally seized it, and thus allowing Bacardi to use the trademark it rightly owns.

The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).  A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla).