Spanish Court ruling on Havana Club rum

"It was a deliberate attempt by our competitor, Bacardi, to appropriate the success of a trademark that we have developed since 1993," FitzSimons said.

Philippe Coutine, general manager of Pernod Ricard in Spain, said that the ruling "will allow us to continue developing our large range of authentic Cuban rums."

In his note, Coutine said that Havana Club is a famous brand in Spain and is registered in more than 120 countries, becoming one of the most valuable in the distilling industry.

He also noted that Havana Club is one of the fastest growing brands in the world, with double-digit growth every year since a joint venture was formed in 1993 between the Cuban company Cuba Ron, S.A. and the Pernod Ricard group.

Sales of Havana Club reached 3.5 million nine-liter cases in the fiscal year ending in June 2010, the company says.

Every year in the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body in Geneva, Cuba, backed by many other countries, rebukes the United States for permitting the usurpation of its trademarks in that country.

Concretely, this refers to Bacardi's use of the Havana Club brand, which is condemned by the WTO, but the United States ignores this stance.

See original report on Prensa Latina