Bacardi Wins Appeal Reviving US Trademark Office Fight Over Havana Club’ Rum

Kelley Drye is mentioned as counsel to Bacardi in an article that highlights the Fourth Circuit’s opinion which permits Bacardi to pursue its claims that the Director of United States Trademark Office exceeded her statutory authority when she permitted the Cuban government to pay a trademark renewal fee ten years after the statutory deadline and granted renewal of the registration when it had already expired by operation of law. U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady dismissed the case in 2022, finding that Bacardi could only challenge Cuba’s mark through trademark office cancellation procedures not by suing the USPTO.

On June 13, 2024, U.S. Circuit Judge Allison Rushing wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel that Bacardi’s court challenge can continue because the Lanham Act does not foreclose judicial review of renewal decisions by the USPTO.

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