Altadis U.S.A, makers of the non-Cuban Montecristo brand, has settled its dispute with boutique company Figaro Cigars over the use of its fleur-de-lis trademark. The cigar giant filed a lawsuit with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida earlier this year, but has since reached an undisclosed agreement with Figaro.
“We had some issues relating to the use of the trademarked fleur-de-lis design that is synonymous with the Montecristo brand,” said Rob Norris, president of Altadis U.S.A. “After some very constructive discussions with Mr. Nicholas Figaro, founder of the Miami, Florida-based company, we found an amicable solution to our issues.”
Nicholas Figaro declined to comment on the settlement, but confirmed that the two companies had reached an agreement. Figaro Cigars, which was founded in 2013, included the fleur-de-lis design on its line of cigars and cigarillos. Altadis confirmed that Figaro will be removing the fleur-de-lis from its cigars and packaging after it sells through existing inventory.
Altadis U.S.A.’s fleur de lis trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The trademark pertains to all cigars and cigar-related products, including ashtrays, cutters, cases and lighters.
According to the lawsuit—filed January 10, 2018—Altadis accused Figaro of using the fleur-de-lis design on its cigars and packaging in “an attempt to create in the minds of consumers an association to [Altadis] and their renowned Montecristo brand.”
This isn’t the first time Altadis has gone after a small cigar brand over the Montecristo logo. In 2009, the company sued Tatuaje brand owner Pete Johnson, as well as Tatuaje manufacturer My Father Cigars Inc., for using the fleur- de-lis. The lawsuit was also settled out of court.
This article first appeared in the May 1, 2018 issue of Cigar Insider.