Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
As cigar aficionados know, Altadis and General Cigar have been fighting a lengthy legal battle over the Cohiba brand that is being documented at our sister site, Cohibas.com.
Days ago General Cigar appears to have made a strategic move to expand its ownership and use of the disputed trademark names with Cuba keyword domain name registrations.
On June 30, 2010 General Cigar registered dozens of Cuban cigar brand domain names, apparently for it’s own marketing or trademark defense purposes.
The company registered domain names such as bolivar-havana.com, cohiba-habana.com and montecristohabana.com.
The registrations are for five years and has the “whois” registrant information listed as:
7300 Beaufont Springs Drive
Richmond, Virginia 23225
Cuban Brand Trademarks
In the mid 1970’s General Cigar purchased of the U.S. rights to the Partagas brand from the Ramon Cifuentes’ family, makers of Partagas in Cuba until Castro took over.
In 1981, General Cigar received the rights to the US trademark of the Cohiba brand. Today these are known as “red dot” Cohibas and not to be confused with the real Cohibas made in Cuba.
In 1997 the company acquired Villazon & Company which was producing the Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey brands.
When Swedish Match acquired General Cigar as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2005, La Gloria Cubana brand became part of the family.
Domain Names Registered by General Cigar
Note: I left a voice message with the phone number on the whois and with the marketing department requesting comments on this article. I also sent an email through the website’s form requesting a comment.