• May 23, 2024

Cuban Origin Ruling Final: Court

 Cuban Origin Ruling Final: Court

Image: fottoo

Image: fottoo

The German Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the use of geographical terms of origin “Cuba” and “Habana” and their derivatives “for tobaccos of other origins are inadmissible,” according to Habanos.

An appeal has been dismissed, and the judgment previously made by the Munich Higher Regional Court ruling that the terms are inadmissible for tobaccos of other origins is final. No further appeals are possible.

The lawsuit was in response to “unauthorized” and “misleading” use of terms such as “Habano Seed,” “Piloto Cubano,” “Habano Wrapper,” “Ecuadorian Habano Wrapper,” “Ecuadorian Habano Seed Wrapper,” “Cubra—the noble fire of Cuba: Criollo” and “Binder Habano Jalapa—Nicaragua” for non-Cuban tobaccos. The suit questioned whether geographical indications like Cuba and Habana and derivatives could be used for cigars from other geographical regions, especially if the origin is “delocalized” and indications of such, like Ecuador and Nicaragua, are used.

Corporacion Habanos took legal action in 2020 against the misleading nomenclature.

The Regional Court of Munich upheld the claim in full, and the Higher Regional Court of Munich dismissed the appeal from the defendant. The Federal Court of Justice has now rejected a final appeal, which was based on points of law not accepted by the Higher Regional Court of Munich.

According to both courts, use of these geographical terms deceives consumers and undermines the reputation of the geographical locations. By using the disputed terminology, one of the courts found, the defendant took advantage of the protected appellations of origin and their reputation to “transfer the concept, image and prestige” to products of other origins.