• May 26, 2024

Guantanamera Loses Duo Trademark Lawsuit

 Guantanamera Loses Duo Trademark Lawsuit

Image: Swedish Match

Image: Swedish Match

Guantanamera has lost a dispute over the Duo trademark with Swedish Match, reports Halfwheel.

The lawsuit alleged that Swedish Match, Sam’s Club and Costco infringed on the Duo trademark with the sale of White Owl Duos.

Judge Jonathan Goodman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that Guantanamera “was able to establish two of seven factors used to determine whether there is a likelihood of consumer confusion among cigar customers; it failed to tip the scales in its favor.” He said the company “concedes that it has no evidence of even a single instance of actual confusion, which is often cited as among the most important of the seven factors.”

“GCC did not provide any survey evidence or expert witness testimony concerning actual confusion or even a likelihood of confusion,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “Given the length of time that the parties’ products coexisted and White Owl duos’ ample sales figures, the court would certainly expect evidence of actual confusion if any consumers were actually confused. But there was none.

“Plaintiff’s failure to come forward with evidence of actual confusion is not from a lack of effort. The president and founder of GCC testified that he and his lawyers actively monitored the marketplace for potential infringers of its Duo mark. The president also testified that he had continuous, daily interactions with his customers and that he had personally visited convenience stores and gas stations on almost a weekly basis throughout the relevant time period. Yet, he admitted that he first learned of White Owl duos cigarillos only through his attorneys in April 2021, a year after their introduction. This factor weighs in favor of Swedish Match.”