outcry against U.S. violations of Cuban intellectual
GENEVA,— Cuba has again denounced,
before the World Trade Organization, repeated U.S.
violations of its intellectual property rights. In a
meeting held by the WTO ‘s dispute resolution panel
May 24, Latin American countries voiced their
dissatisfaction, a full 10 years after the body
ruled against the United States in the "Havana Club
case," according to EFE.
Cuba’s alternate representative to
the international organization headquarters in
Geneva, Nancy Madrigal, recalled that, for more than
a decade, Washington has maintained Section 211 of
the 1998 Congressional Omnibus Law despite many
calls for its elimination, Prensa Latina reported.
The Cuban statement was supported by
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador,
Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic,
Uruguay, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, according to
information released by the diplomatic mission in
In 2002, the WTO’s dispute
resolution panel ruled that the U.S. law violates
sections of the Paris Convention for the
Protection of Industrial Property.
Section 211 does not allow rightful
owners of Cuban trademarks or names used in commerce
to be recognized or protected in the U.S.
This legislation has served as the
pretext used for allowing the Bacardi Company to
flagrantly appropriate the Havana Club trademark in
the United States, the only place in the world where
this can happen, said Madrigal.
The CUBAEXPORT company, legitimate
owner of Havana Club, last January requested that
the U.S. Supreme Court review the case which had
been heard in lower courts. This request was denied
Thus, according to the diplomat, a
Cuban entity has been definitively robbed of a
trademark which was legitimately recognized for more
than 30 years in the United States.
Madrigal called on the U.S.
government to grant CUBAEXPORT the license it needs
to renew its registration of the trademark and to
immediately repeal the Section 211 law.