EU Appeals WTO Decision in "Havana Club" Rum Case.The European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the
European Community has formally notified the World Trade Organization that it is appealing a panel ruling in a dispute with the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. concerning U.S. legislation that denies protection for trademarks linked with businesses confiscated con·fis·cate
tr.v. con·fis·cat·ed, con·fis·cat·ing, con·fis·cates
1. To seize (private property) for the public treasury.
2. To seize by or as if by authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.
adj. by the government of Cuba. The notification sent to the WTO See World Trade Organization. October stated the EU would appeal certain parts of the decision it said raised "some important systemic issues." The WTO's Appellate Body The Appellate Body of the WTO is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by Panels in disputes brought by WTO Members. It was established in 1995 under Article 17 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of is expected to issue its ruling early next year.
The so-called "Havana Club This article is about a rum made in Cuba. For the rum of the same name made by Bacardi in Puerto Rico and sold in the United States only, see Havana Club (Bacardi).
Havana Club is a brand of rum, made in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. " dispute centers on Section 211 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1998. Section 211 denies protection to trademarks that are the same or substantially similar to trademark used in connection with a confiscated business or asset without the consent of the original owner. The legislation was specifically designed to protect trademarks belonging to businesses confiscated by the Cuban government after the 1959 communist revolution.
Section 211 was tacked on to the 1998 budget bill by the U.S. Congress after lobbying by Bermuda-based spirits producer Bacardi, which is trying to wrest wrest
tr.v. wrest·ed, wrest·ing, wrests
1. To obtain by or as if by pulling with violent twisting movements: wrested the book out of his hands; wrested the islands from the settlers. control over the U.S. trademark for the "Havana Club" brand of rum from the French-based spirits group Pernod Ricard. Pernod claims worldwide ownership over the trademark as the result of a joint venture it set up in 1993 with Havana Club Holdings, a state-owned Cuban firm. Bacardi says it acquired the Havana Club trademark from the exiled Arechabala family, which owned the distillery producing Havana Club that was seized by the Cuban government.
The panel found in favor of the EU on one point, ruling that Section 211 (a)(2) failed to provide the means for a claimant to assert ownership of a trademark linked with a confiscated business asset before a U.S. court as required by the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS (TRIPS). Section 211 (a)(2) prohibited U.S. courts from recognizing, enforcing, or validating the assertion of such rights by a claimant.
The panel however rejected the remainder of the EU's claim, namely that two additional provisions of the legislation -- Section 211 (a)(1) and Section 211(b) of the Act -- were also in violation of TRIPS rules. Section 211 (a)(1) limits the right to register or renew a trademark, trade name or commercial name used in connection with a confiscated business or asset unless express consent is given by the original owner or the bona fide [Latin, In good faith.] Honest; genuine; actual; authentic; acting without the intention of defrauding.
A bona fide purchaser is one who purchases property for a valuable consideration that is inducement for entering into a contract and without suspicion of being successor-in-interest to the registration/renewal. Section 211 (b) prohibits U.S. courts from recognizing, enforcing or validating the assertion of treaty rights for trademarks, trade names or commercial names for marks or names used in connection with a confiscated business or asset unless the original owner or the bona fide successor-in-interest expressly consents to such an assertion.