Richmond, VA - General Cigar Co. Inc. announced today that the company has reached resolution of a federal trademark lawsuit which alleged infringement of its COHIBA trademark.
The suit was filed in May 2006 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against defendants Southern Smoke LLC; Corner Cigars Distributing Inc.; Big Dog Cigars LLC, Seminole Cigar Factory and others.
In resolving the lawsuit, the defendants acknowledged that the "yellow band" COHIBA cigars at issue constituted infringement of General Cigar's COHIBA trademark of cigars in the United States. In addition, the defendants agreed to deliver to General Cigar for destruction approximately 10,000 yellow band COHIBA cigars. The defendants also agreed to cooperate with General Cigar in its ongoing efforts to identify sources engaged in infringement of COHIBA cigars in the United States. Finally, the defendants consented to entry of a permanent injunction against the sale, marketing, distribution or other use of the COHIBA name in the United States on goods not manufactured by General Cigar and will pay General Cigar a cash settlement of an undisclosed amount.
Daniel Nunez, president and chief operating officer of General Cigar, commented, "We are very pleased with the outcome of this case."
Nunez continued, "This case is another step in our ongoing efforts to stop the sale and marketing of cigars which infringe upon our federally protected trademark rights."
In the lawsuit, General Cigar alleged that the defendants infringed the company's COHIBA trademark in violation of federal and state law by selling and distributing cigars bearing the COHIBA name that were not manufactured by General Cigar. The infringing cigars were sometimes referred to as "yellow band COHIBA" cigars and, like General Cigar's COHIBA cigars, were manufactured in the Dominican Republic.
The lawsuit was the result of an extensive joint effort conducted by General Cigar's field sales team and a special task force retained by the company as part of its ongoing, nationwide effort to aggressively investigate, pursue and eliminate such infringing products from the marketplace.
In February of 2005, a federal court confirmed General Cigar's ownership of the COHIBA mark in the United States.
General Cigar's collection of premium COHIBA cigars is handcrafted in the Dominican Republic and is a favorite among cigar connoisseurs. In addition to the COHIBA base brand, General Cigar manufactures and markets COHIBA XV which was introduced in 2001 and COHIBA Black which debuted last year.
Thursday, July 26, 2007