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Richard's Diary

January 2010

COHIBA, a new positive decision in USA in favor of CUBATABACO

By Richard on January, 29th 2010 - 4:06 pm

The Cuban cigar company Cubatabaco has won a court order enjoining General Cigar from continuing to use the COHIBA trademark in the United States.

Federal judge Robert W. Sweet, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, issued the injunction on December 14, 2009.

COHIBA is the world’s most famous and coveted cigar. It is sold everywhere except the United States, where the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba prevents its sale. General Cigar, a major U.S. cigar company, sells a Dominican-made cigar under the COHIBA name in the United States.

In issuing the injunction, Judge Sweet found that, at the beginning of the cigar boom in the United States in 1992, “General Cigar selected COHIBA for a new product in order to exploit the reputation and goodwill of the Cuban COHIBA” in the United States. Judge Sweet additionally found that General Cigar “continues to profit from the Cuban COHIBA’s goodwill” in the U.S.

General Cigar has stated that it will appeal Judge Sweet’s decision. Under the terms of the injunction, General Cigar is permitted to sell its Dominican-made cigars under the COHIBA name until its appeal is decided.

Judge Sweet still has before him Cubatabaco’s claim to recover the profits General Cigar has obtained since 1992 by exploiting the COHIBA’s reputation. No date has been set yet for proceedings on Cubatabaco’s claim.

Michael Krinsky and David Goldstein, of the New York law firm Rabinowitz Boudin Standard Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C., the U.S. attorneys for Cubatabaco, said today that “Judge Sweet’s decision fully vindicates the fundamental principle that a company cannot be permitted to reap what it has not sowed, that it cannot be permitted to exploit the goodwill and reputation of another company’s product.”

Judge Sweet found that the COHIBA’s unique reputation for excellence is so strong that the U.S. consumer “primarily associates the designation COHIBA with the Cuban COHIBA,” even though the COHIBA cannot be sold in the United States. Judge Sweet found that this lead General Cigar to “to plagiarize the mark” by “intentional copying.”
Judge Sweet’s decision is the latest round in a 12 years litigation over the COHIBA trademark in the United States.

For further information, contact:

Adargelio Garrido
Cuban Attorney for Cubatabaco
(Habanos.com)

Shipping cigars

By Richard on January, 27th 2010 - 4:17 pm

Following a busy Christmas and New Year, we saw that there were delays with deliveries times during these high volume, holiday periods. Although this is beyond our control and to be expected at this time of the year, we would like to thank you all for your patience, good nature and understanding. Apart from a few members, who seemed under the impression that TopCubans.com could some how influence the workings of Postal systems round the world, your realism and and serenity was a breath of fresh air in this age of 'blame someone else'. This attitude has re-energized our belief in the TopCubans.com Club and its memebers round the world. We look forward to a special year and hope you will join us on this ride. Enjoy and good smoking!

// Don // March, 11th 2010 // 2:26 pm

I myself was guilty of a little impatience with my order during the hollidays.It was not that i was worried about my order it was that i was out of cigars and we know what that is like.I have been a customer of Richard for several years and i must say their service is second to none and most of all a great product.

// Harp // February, 06th 2010 // 8:18 am

i thought you guys did a great job and i apreaciate the quick responses! Keep up the good work and keep on smoking .

Hello from the new guy!

By David on January, 15th 2010 - 4:22 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm David and I'm new to the team here at TopCubans. I thought it be appropriate to introduce myself to everyone, my background, how I know Richard and my take on the world of cigars!

I've been travelling and working in and around Cuba for the last 18 months since graduating from university 2 years ago.

Richard an old family friend here in Switzerland gave me the idea of Cuba and Central America as an interesting place to visit for someone who has spent most of their time in Western Europe and the States! If I'm honest I did not have Richard's passion for cigars before I went, but spending a solid 9 months in Cuba and then also Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico gave me a real first-hand insight into the effort that goes into the making of a hand-rolled cigar and also the great variety of tastes and blends on offer. A passion was born!

Through Richard I spent 9 enjoyable months working as an intern for Habanos in the heart of Havana, learning about the different brands, eventually spending some time at the H. Uppman factory which is of course where they make the most popular brand, that of Montecristo. I am a huge fan, so apologies in advance for any bias I show to the Monte brands!

For any passionate cigar smoker Cuba is a delight so my first piece of advice I will give on these pages is to get over there for a holiday. It's a beautiful and enchanting place, with great people, great food and the best of the best cigars!

I think the most important thing in this multi-cultural world is to keep an open mind and a willingness to learn. Curiosity drives passion which makes for a truly enjoyable life. The happiest people I know are the ones who have passions, whether that be sports, travelling, train-spotting or cigar smoking!

I look forward to getting to know you and to sharing our passion and experiences with each other. Richard and I are hitting the slopes this weekend so need to go and make up a box to take up in the travel humidor. a few Monte Edmundos'll be in there for sure!

I would like to make a toast, a cigar toast to the pursuit of happiness - cheers!

David

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