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Pernod wins Havana Club battle in Spain

Published:  03 February, 2011

Pernod Ricard has claimed victory in a court hearing over the rights to the Havana Club rum brand name in the Spanish market.

The country's Supreme Court ruled that the joint venture between Pernod Ricard and the Cuban company Corporation Cuba Ron, set up in 1993, owned the Havana Club trademark rights in Spain.

Its claim to the trademark had been challenged by Bacardi but the ruling backs previous decisions by lower courts in 2005 and 2007.

Ian Fitzsimons, general counsel for Pernod Ricard branded it a "victory for the Havana Club brand."

He added: "Our business in Spain was built from scratch and today sells more than 2.7 million litres in the country.

"This judgment allows us to continue to develop in Spain our great range of authentic Cuban rums."

Bacardi said it was planning further legal moves after the ruling which it said fell in Pernod Ricard's favour only on "the legal technicality of a statute of limitations".

It claimed the court had recognised "nearly all the legal merits of the appeal on the legitimacy of Bacardi's rights".

The battle over  rights to the Havana Club name dates back to 1960, in the wake of the Cuban revolution.