Cohiba Vs. Cohiba: General Cigar Appeals Latest Decision
The 26-year-old legal battle over the Cohiba name has taken another turn. General Cigar Co., and its parent company Scandinavian Tobacco Group, have appealed a decision made in December by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which ruled to cancel General’s Cohiba trademark registration in the United States.
General sells the non-Cuban version of the Cohiba cigar brand in the United States, where Cuban Cohibas cannot legally be sold. Cuban company Cubatabaco, which owns the Cohiba name and the rights to market Cohiba internationally, challenged the legality of the U.S. trademark and first filed suit in January 1997. The case has been litigated back and forth ever since with losses and victories for both sides.
In addition to appealing the December 20 TTAB decision, General Cigar also filed additional claims seeking a declaration that Cubatabaco has no grounds to cancel General’s Cohiba trademarks in the United States. Both suits have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Empresa Cubana del Tabaco d.b.a. Cubatabaco.
“By initiating this lawsuit to appeal the TTAB decision and to obtain a declaration of its rights, General Cigar expects the court will ultimately rule it has exclusive U.S. rights to the Cohiba marks,” said Régis Broersma, president of STG’s North America and rest of world division.
General stated that it will “continue to manufacture, market, sell and enforce its Cohiba marks.”
Read Next: California Bill Would Eventually Ban Tobacco Entirely