According to Bacardi & Co, the grant was illegal because the patent registration was set to expire after failing to obtain a license from the U.S. Treasury Department`s Office of Foreign Assets Control in 2006. Americans discovered Cuban rum when veterans of the Spanish-American War returned home. A plaque at the Army and Navy Club in Washington commemorates the moment when, in 1909, the daiquiri was introduced into the club`s bar after being invented in Daiquirí, Cuba. According to the company, in 1960, the Cuban government illegally seized the trademark „Havana Club“, as well as other assets of the Cuban company José Arechabala SA, one of the largest groups of companies on the island in the sugar industry and the production of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol giant`s legal representative, Michael Lynch, said shortly after the announcement that the company was disappointed and was considering appealing, as the move would prevent it from registering its own trademark „Havana Club“. However, in 1998, after intense lobbying by Bacardi, the U.S. Congress passed the Bacardi Act (Section 211 of the 1998 Omnibus Appropriations Act), which protected trademarks linked to expropriated Cuban companies and effectively ended the first phase of litigation by eliminating Pernod Ricard`s reputation.   The law was applied only to the Havana Club brand, and was declared illegal by the WTO in 2001 and 2002 because it distinguished one country (Cuba).  Despite the 2005 deadline and the European Union`s requests, the United States has not yet taken steps to implement the WTO ruling.  According to local media, the lawsuit was filed last December in federal court in Virginia because the PTO renewed Cuba`s rights to the Havana Club rum brand, produced by Cubaexport and the subject of a lengthy legal battle.
Since then, Bacardi and Pernod Ricard have been fighting legally, regulatory, politically and commercially. Rum is a relatively smaller part of the Pernod Ricard product range. Still, Havana Club is one of the company`s top 10 brands, behind Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey. Nevertheless, the result is close, says David Cid, Bacardi Global Rum Ambassador: „We apply the techniques and methods of Arechabalas with our yeast to reproduce the aromatic and taste balance of the original Havana Club. Bacardi`s attorney, Michael Lynch of Kelley Drye & Warren, said Thursday that the company was disappointed with the decision and was considering appealing. U.S. sanctions against Cuba have made life difficult for producers of the island`s iconic alcoholic beverage, rum, but despite a number of obstacles, they still manage to survive. In this gloriously bitter rum war – Havana Club vs. Havana Club – there is a history of geopolitical tournaments that has more twists and turns than a Cuban mambo. The drama reached its peak as historic changes took place in the tense relations between the United States and Cuba. In 2016, Bacardi announced a new branding and sold its version of Havana Club nationwide, distilled in Puerto Rico and bottled in Florida.  But not just any Cuban rum.
In three to seven years – sometimes more, depending on the flavor Morales is aiming for – after filtering, aging and blending, this rum will be bottled under the name Havana Club, one of the two most famous brands in Cuba`s history. The founders of Bacardi, based in Bermuda, left the Caribbean island after the triumph of the revolution on January 1, 1959. But then Bacardi`s lawyers call the Cuban Havana Club a „Havana substitute club.“ Bacardi appears to have won the rum war in 2006, when Cubans and Pernod Ricard were not allowed to renew the brand. The reason: New rules required a Treasury Department license to write a check for the multi-hundred-dollar renewal fee. The Ministry of Finance, on the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, refused to grant the licence. Bacardi leaders initially supported Fidel Castro, according to the 2008 book „Bacardi and the Long Struggle for Cuba“ by journalist Tom Gjelten. They toasted their brother Raúl Castro`s wedding in 1959 to a revolutionary fighter who was the daughter of a Bacardi cadre. „It`s a very traditional, very simple technique that reveals the truth, the quality of alcohol.“ Trump also activated a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that allows Cuban-Americans to receive damages from companies that do business with the Cuban state.
Such situations have arisen because of sanctions imposed by Washington, which have been tightened under President Donald Trump as punishment for Cuba, which reportedly provides military support to its leftist ally, Venezuela.