Pernod Ricard’s Dispute with Bacardi Havana Club Rum to be Reviewed by FTC: Clarifying That Puerto Rico Is Not Cuba
The Background: Pernod Ricard vs. Bacardi
Pernod Ricard, the French beverage company, has been fighting a legal battle with Bacardi over the use of the term “Havana Club” for several years now. The dispute started back in the 1990s when Bacardi purchased the rights to the “Havana Club” brand from the original makers, the Arechabala family. However, Pernod Ricard then acquired the trademark rights from the Cuban government and has been fighting Bacardi ever since.
The dispute has been mostly centered on the US market, where Bacardi has been selling its own version of Havana Club rum, made in Puerto Rico, for more than two decades. Pernod Ricard, on the other hand, cannot sell their Cuban version of Havana Club in the US due to the US trade embargo with Cuba.
The Latest Development: FTC Review
Now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has agreed to review the dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi. The FTC’s decision follows a petition filed by Pernod Ricard, which argued that Bacardi has been deceiving consumers by implying that its rum is made in Cuba and is the same as the original Havana Club brand.
Pernod Ricard’s petition stated that “Bacardi’s rum is not Havana Club.” It highlighted that Bacardi’s version of Havana Club is made in Puerto Rico and is a different product altogether from the Cuban-made rum produced by Pernod Ricard.
Clarifying the Difference: Puerto Rico vs. Cuba
One of the key issues in the dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi is the difference between “Puerto Rican rum” and “Cuban rum.” While both types of rum are made from sugar cane, there are significant differences in the production processes and the resulting taste. Cuban rum is made from molasses, while Puerto Rican rum is made from sugar cane juice. Cuban rum is also aged longer than most Puerto Rican rums, giving it a richer and more complex flavor.
Pernod Ricard’s petition to the FTC seeks to clarify this difference and ensure that consumers are not misled into believing that Bacardi’s version of Havana Club is the same as the Cuban-made rum produced by Pernod Ricard.
The Conclusion: The FTC Will Decide
The FTC’s decision to review the dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi is an important development in the ongoing legal battle over the Havana Club trademark. The decision will determine whether Bacardi can continue to use the Havana Club name on its Puerto Rican-made rum and whether consumers are being misled by Bacardi’s marketing.
The outcome of this case will have significant implications for the wider spirits industry, as well as for the ongoing political and economic tensions between the US and Cuba. For now, it remains to be seen which way the FTC will lean. However, whatever their decision, it is clear that the dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi is far from over.
Summary: The FTC has agreed to review the legal dispute between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi over the use of the “Havana Club” trademark. Pernod Ricard has argued that Bacardi has been deceiving consumers by implying that their Puerto Rican-made version of Havana Club is the same as the Cuban-made rum produced by Pernod Ricard. The FTC’s decision will have significant implications for the spirits industry and for the wider political and economic tensions between the US and Cuba. #NEWS