Altadis and Tatuaje End Lawsuit

The fleur-de-lis fight has ended. Altadis U.S.A. Inc. and Tatuaje Cigars jointly announced yesterday that they have reached a mutual agreement ending the trademark battle over Tatuaje's use of the fleur-de-lis on its cigar brands.

"It's over," said Pete Johnson, owner of the Tatuaje, La Riqueza, Ambos Mundos and other cigar brands. Johnson said this morning that he would be making "minor changes, nothing that is really noticeable" to his cigars. Tatuaje, a boutique brand rolled in Miami and Nicaragua by José "Pepin" Garcia, was named the hottest cigar brand in America by Cigar Insider this summer.

Altadis U.S.A., which is owned by Britain's Imperial Tobacco PLC, is part of the largest cigar company in the world. It makes Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann and many other handmade and machine-made cigars. It's Montecristo band features a fleur-de-lis in the center of the cigar band, the focal point of the lawsuit.

Janelle Rosenfeld, an Altadis vice president, confirmed in an email last night that her company's lawsuit against Garcia and his My Father Cigars Inc. had also been settled.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's Cigar Insider.