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Cuban government has forfeited trademark rights as a result of the 55-year embargo.

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The American-based company is awarded its day in court to argue the Cuban government has forfeited trademark rights as a result of the 55-year embargo.

MOORPARK, Calif., July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kretek International, Inc., America's largest importer, marketer, and distributor of specialty tobacco products, announced that the United States Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board denied motions made by two Cuban state tobacco companies to dismiss Kretek's claims for cancellation of 10 trademark registrations. The Board now determines whether the Cuban companies can own U.S. trademark registrations for brands the Cuban companies are legally prohibited from using in the U.S. under the embargo.

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/kretek-international-inc-defeats-key-213700563.html

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I believe this is only applicable while the embargo is in place. Post-embargo there will be sorting out of who owns what between Imperial's buyer, General and the Cuban government.

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Seems like a pretty arbitrary premise to make a legal argument... so does this mean Cubans can be sued if they dont change their brand, if the embargo is lifted? What a @#$%show.

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1 hour ago, NSXCIGAR said:

I believe this is only applicable while the embargo is in place. Post-embargo there will be sorting out of who owns what between Imperial's buyer, General and the Cuban government.

"Post embargo"? That will never happen in our lifetime. Not as long as winning Florida is essential to winning the white house. 

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1 minute ago, NYgarman said:

"Post embargo"? That will never happen in our lifetime. Not as long as winning Florida is essential to winning the white house. 

It's an older generation, and small segment that favors this. As the time goes on this will change. 

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I will henceforth be forced to claim that my favorite cigar is the "bootleg" Bolivar from that island south of America's inbred penis.

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2 hours ago, NYgarman said:

"Post embargo"? That will never happen in our lifetime. Not as long as winning Florida is essential to winning the white house. 

It will end at some point even if it's a nuclear holocaust that causes it. 

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For the nounce, Cuban Rounds are a budget bundle with a very Cohiba inspired band. $2-3 churchill. 

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3 hours ago, Fuzz said:

I find that extremely annoying. Why do NC manufacturers constantly try to market their cigars as "Cuban Inspired", "Cubanesque", or "made from Cuban seed"? Can your cigars not stand on their own?

If I purchase all my ingredients and equipment from Kentucky USA, but make my whisky in Timbuktu, can I still call it Kentucky Whisky? What if I bought the grain from Kentucky and planted it in Timbuktu? Is it whisky made from Kentucky grain seed, using Kentucky methods? Absolutely ridiculous.

Agreed.  This is absurd. 

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5 hours ago, Fuzz said:

I find that extremely annoying. Why do NC manufacturers constantly try to market their cigars as "Cuban Inspired", "Cubanesque", or "made from Cuban seed"? Can your cigars not stand on their own?

If I purchase all my ingredients and equipment from Kentucky USA, but make my whisky in Timbuktu, can I still call it Kentucky Whisky? What if I bought the grain from Kentucky and planted it in Timbuktu? Is it whisky made from Kentucky grain seed, using Kentucky methods? Absolutely ridiculous.

I find it also silly that decades of growing tobacco in Nic, Dom, and Hon there are many brands touting the "Cuban-esque" moniker to associate their flavor notes with the taste of Cuban tobacco. A not so smart marketing ploy IMO

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15 hours ago, anacostiakat said:

Can your cigars not stand on their own?

If I purchase all my ingredients and equipment from Kentucky USA, but make my whisky in Timbuktu, can I still call it Kentucky Whisky? What if I bought the grain from Kentucky and planted it in Timbuktu? Is it whisky made from Kentucky grain seed, using Kentucky methods?

No, they can't. 

And while you can't call a Whisky Kentucky Whisky if it's not made in accordance with established methods the final product may very well be indistinguishable from the official product. Cognac is just brandy made in Cognac. Take Cognac grapes, distill it elsewhere and it is the same product but just not "Cognac".

Tobacco is different. The seed is probably the least important factor. Soil and climate is by far the most critical factor. 

So while using Cognac grapes or Kentucky grain would be a legitimate selling point for those products using Cuban seed is meaningless and just a gimmick. 

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8 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

No, they can't. 

And while you can't call a Whisky Kentucky Whisky if it's not made in accordance with established methods the final product may very well be indistinguishable from the official product. Cognac is just brandy made in Cognac. Take Cognac grapes, distill it elsewhere and it is the same product but just not "Cognac".

Tobacco is different. The seed is probably the least important factor. Soil and climate is by far the most critical factor. 

So while using Cognac grapes or Kentucky grain would be a legitimate selling point for those products using Cuban seed is meaningless and just a gimmick. 

sorry but i would dispute this. i would not argue that products can be similar, perhaps even better, but there is a difference and it is that difference which has given the product its reputation. how many places have tried to make "champagne"? you may prefer a brandy from elsewhere and that is fine but you can't say it is the same as cognac. 

soil and climate, as you say, are essential - terroir if you like. and that also applies in cognac. even within cognac it is well known that some parts, the bullseye or the grande champagne sub-region (nothing to do with the sparkler) in the centre, which is only a small percentage of the region, is well known for providing what will eventually become the finest cognac. other regions within cognac offer other characteristics. but making it elsewhere will most definitely not give you the same product. 

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20 hours ago, Çnote said:

For the nounce, Cuban Rounds are a budget bundle with a very Cohiba inspired band. $2-3 churchill. 

For the guy who rarely smokes or just doesn’t know better and there are a lot of them out there. I guess they see the word Cuban and 💥 it must be similar. I see a lot of them with the Cohiba like band. 

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On 7/1/2019 at 3:23 PM, El Presidente said:

 

The American-based company is awarded its day in court to argue the Cuban government has forfeited trademark rights as a result of the 55-year embargo.

MOORPARK, Calif., July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kretek International, Inc., America's largest importer, marketer, and distributor of specialty tobacco products, announced that the United States Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board denied motions made by two Cuban state tobacco companies to dismiss Kretek's claims for cancellation of 10 trademark registrations. The Board now determines whether the Cuban companies can own U.S. trademark registrations for brands the Cuban companies are legally prohibited from using in the U.S. under the embargo.

Continue

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/kretek-international-inc-defeats-key-213700563.html

Pretty funny. I went to school with Hugo's kids.

These people brought those disgusting clove cigarettes to this country. In Jr. High, the brothers used to smoke them and pass them out.

I could puke today just on the memory of the smell of those things!!!

-Piggy

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4 hours ago, Ken Gargett said:

sorry but i would dispute this. i would not argue that products can be similar, perhaps even better, but there is a difference and it is that difference which has given the product its reputation. how many places have tried to make "champagne"? you may prefer a brandy from elsewhere and that is fine but you can't say it is the same as cognac. 

Well, ok, I could modify my statements to allow for "differences". But for actual quality and superiority I would argue that tobacco is probably the crop for which quality is most dependent on terroir.

Even more so than grapes. Among the world's finest connoisseurs the argument of where the best grapes are grown rages endlessly--OZ, California, France. Certainly there are differences among all three, but there is also a superiority argument (which may never be settled.)

Where does the best whiskey in the world come from? For 300 years it was Scotland. Now Japan has a case.

Am I stretching too far to say that no one serious really denies that the highest quality cigar tobacco can only be grown in Cuba? And if that ever changes it will be only one other small geographic region. 

You say that certain areas are "well known" for providing the finest products. That may have been the case a very long time ago, and certainly most of these regions have natural terroir advantages, but much of that reputation may have been due to skill and specialization over decades and centuries rather than mainly terroir. Perhaps no one outside of Champagne is really trying to create a better sparkling wine. But it could probably be done. 

Tobacco quality, however, seems to be locked to the terroir. No matter how many resources and how much technology is directed towards challenging it the natural advantage of the Cuban terroir can't be overcome unlike almost all other products where origin is touted as meaningful.

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1 minute ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Well, ok, I could modify my statements to allow for "differences". But for actual quality and superiority I would argue that tobacco is probably the crop for which quality is most dependent on terroir.

Even more so than grapes. Among the world's finest connoisseurs the argument of where the best grapes are grown rages endlessly--OZ, California, France. Certainly there are differences among all three, but there is also a superiority argument (which may never be settled.)

Where does the best whiskey in the world come from? For 300 years it was Scotland. Now Japan has a case.

Am I stretching too far to say that no one serious really denies that the highest quality cigar tobacco can only be grown in Cuba? And if that ever changes it will be only one other small geographic region. 

You say that certain areas are "well known" for providing the finest products. That may have been the case a very long time ago, and certainly most of these regions have natural terroir advantages, but much of that reputation may have been due to skill and specialization over decades and centuries rather than terroir. Perhaps no one outside of Champagne is really trying to create a better sparkling wine. But it could probably be done. 

Tobacco quality, however, seems to be locked to the terroir. No matter how many resources and how much technology is directed towards challenging it the natural advantage of the Cuban terroir can't be overcome unlike almost all other products where origin is touted as meaningful.

no doubt one of the reasons we are both here is that we agree on cuba producing the finest tobacco and there is obviously, for most of us i suspect, no argument. but i'm sure that for many others, there is a debate. just as for all the examples you mentioned. and there is definitely plenty in what you say about the skill developing over long periods but i think that there is much more to it. i wrote something about cuban cigars for a site elsewhere and i was castigated by a reader for the antiquated and deluded view that cuba provided the best tobacco. i will say that when other readers jumped in, the vast majority supported cuba but there are serious smokers out there who don't agree with us.  

i am not sure i agree with you about a lot of this. whisky is a good example, which perhaps does support you in a roundabout way, as i am literally mid-article on a Tasmanian distillery that has won all manner of the highest awards, in competition with the scots, japanese and more. and i would be interested in the views of any Irish members as to whether they are as convinced that scotland has been superior for 300 years. i think some would agree with you as to the dominance of cuba with tobacco far exceeding what comes with spirits, but others might not.

where i think you are on much shakier ground is wine/grapes. sure, many will argue as to regions and their supposed superiority. but to suggest that no one outside Champagne is trying to create a better sparkling wine is absolutely not correct and i am sure that all those who have spent literally 100s of millions around the globe trying to do just that might also disagree. there is, despite immense efforts to do so, no indication that anyone has found a more suitable region. others might argue but i would suggest that Tasmania has probably done enough to show that it is the next most likely (england might challenge that in the coming years) but nowhere is a serious contender. 

i'd argue that no lover of pinot noir, as an example, would seriously suggest that, while agreeing that there are many truly brilliant examples from nz, australia, the states etc, anywhere else has knocked burgundy off its perch. sure, many wines from elsewhere are superior to many burgundies, but at the very pinnacle, nothing has matched that region. and even within that region, the slight variations in terroir create massive differences. that is why a wine from grapes picked in the middle of a slope might get a grand a bottle but those picked just yards further down the slope only get $30 a bottle. i am not certain that there are such significant differences in the tobacco fields of cuba. sure, we know about the better regions and those farms that are revered but do you get such massive and significant differences from plants that are just yards apart? 

i would think we could agree that both are dependent on their respective terroirs but we might not agree on whether it is tobacco or grapes, at the very highest levels, which most depends on terroir. i'd would argue grapes. 

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On 7/2/2019 at 2:54 AM, Fuzz said:

I find that extremely annoying. Why do NC manufacturers constantly try to market their cigars as "Cuban Inspired", "Cubanesque", or "made from Cuban seed"? Can your cigars not stand on their own?

If I purchase all my ingredients and equipment from Kentucky USA, but make my whisky in Timbuktu, can I still call it Kentucky Whisky? What if I bought the grain from Kentucky and planted it in Timbuktu? Is it whisky made from Kentucky grain seed, using Kentucky methods? Absolutely ridiculous.

From personal experience getting in to cigars years ago, this seemed like a brilliant marketing move.  Uninformed newbies are like Yes!  I want this!  

I also hate the non-cuban cubans sold in the states.  Cohiba, Romeo, Punch, Monte, etc.  They're mostly trash, and at best nothing like the real deal. 

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3 hours ago, RyviaUSA said:

From personal experience getting in to cigars years ago, this seemed like a brilliant marketing move.  Uninformed newbies are like Yes!  I want this!  

I also hate the non-cuban cubans sold in the states.  Cohiba, Romeo, Punch, Monte, etc.  They're mostly trash, and at best nothing like the real deal. 

Yet cigar retailers in the USA tout these brands as the "real ones" and that the cigar brands in Cuba were just hijacked by the Cuban government. They still continue to preach that cigars from Cuba are just crap and inferior to those sold in the USA.

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1 hour ago, NYgarman said:

Yet cigar retailers in the USA tout these brands as the "real ones" and that the cigar brands in Cuba were just hijacked by the Cuban government. They still continue to preach that cigars from Cuba are just crap and inferior to those sold in the USA.

Hmmm I never got the impression they were real. I always thought they were the Nicaraguan ones grown by the real companies. 

 

In any case it's crappy. There are thousands upon thousands of non-cubans that get so heavily advertised and buy their 92+ rating.  I swear the rating system is now a total joke. 

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4 hours ago, RyviaUSA said:

From personal experience getting in to cigars years ago, this seemed like a brilliant marketing move.  Uninformed newbies are like Yes!  I want this!  

I also hate the non-cuban cubans sold in the states.  Cohiba, Romeo, Punch, Monte, etc.  They're mostly trash, and at best nothing like the real deal. 

the NC cuban brands use to be trash till aj fernandez came along and reinvented most of the brands his monte uppman especially his ramon alloes are all legit good  

ive tried some of the others since CA put 5 NC cuban brands in tier top 25 and they all still suck for the most part..... ironic tho CA is the only top 25 list of the year with more then 1 real cuban they have 3, think all the others have 1 and most have no real cubans on them at all 

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19 minutes ago, juri said:

the NC cuban brands use to be trash till aj fernandez came along and reinvented most of the brands his monte uppman especially his ramon alloes are all legit good  

ive tried some of the others since CA put 5 NC cuban brands in tier top 25 and they all still suck for the most part..... ironic tho CA is the only top 25 list of the year with more then 1 real cuban they have 3, think all the others have 1 and most have no real cubans on them at all 

Who does cohiba? I hate how they all hide behind the well known Cuban names. Let your sticks stand on their own.  The AJ stick by Upmann is actually good, and it has his name right on it. 

I also laugh when people are spending $15 a stick for cohiba in the states. Always thought they were $6 sticks on a good day.  It's no coincidence they go on sale like 10 for $70. If only the real deal went for that price. 

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32 minutes ago, RyviaUSA said:

Who does cohiba? I hate how they all hide behind the well known Cuban names. Let your sticks stand on their own.  The AJ stick by Upmann is actually good, and it has his name right on it. 

I also laugh when people are spending $15 a stick for cohiba in the states. Always thought they were $6 sticks on a good day.  It's no coincidence they go on sale like 10 for $70. If only the real deal went for that price. 

not sure on cohiba most of the other brands are all owned by Altadis and they got them names from the original people who came from cuba and took their brand names with them post revolution 

but yeah NC cohibas are trash lol

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6 hours ago, RyviaUSA said:

Who does cohiba? I hate how they all hide behind the well known Cuban names. Let your sticks stand on their own.  The AJ stick by Upmann is actually good, and it has his name right on it. 

I also laugh when people are spending $15 a stick for cohiba in the states. Always thought they were $6 sticks on a good day.  It's no coincidence they go on sale like 10 for $70. If only the real deal went for that price. 

USA Cohiba is owned by General Cigar which also owns many other brands. Of course the Cuban Cohiba brand is post revolution and I feel the Red dot Cohiba sold in the USA is a blatant steal of a name if there ever was one. 

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