Rumble of the Rums: The Battle Over 'Havana Club'

25 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012

See all articles by Dylan Aste

Dylan Aste

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2009


Why, in 1993, did the Arechabala family suddenly have several suitors for the "Havana Club" mark it had not used in commerce for more than 30 years? The answer to this question hovers over a dozen years (and counting) of litigation raising issues at the intersection of powerful private and governmental interests on the one hand, international and domestic politics on the other hand. Part of the story -- a part told elsewhere in this symposium -- belongs to the World Trade Organization and the TRIPs Agreement that more than a hundred nations were about to join beginning in 1994. Another part -- the part that concerns us here -- belongs to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuban imports and to Cuba's efforts to circumvent it, or at least to prepare for its termination.

Keywords: Trademark, mark, Lanham Act, Intellectual Property, USPTO, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Havana Club Rum, Havana Club, Rum, Bacardi, Cubaexport, Pernod Ricard, Havana Rum & Liquors, Havana Club Holdings, Havana Club International, Galleon, Arechabala, U.S. embargo, Cuba

Suggested Citation

Aste, Dylan, Rumble of the Rums: The Battle Over 'Havana Club' (2009). Journal of Contemporary Legal issues, Vol. 19, p. 261, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Dylan Aste (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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