At WTO, Nations Blast US For Continued Failure To Fix Havana Club Dispute 22/07/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Since that fateful night in 1998 when former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms slipped a provision on behalf of US rum-maker Bacardi into an appropriations bill blocking a Cuban-French company from using the Havana Club trademark in the US, it was expected the provision would eventually be overturned. The provision went so far as to block due process for the Pernod-Ricard and Cuban company, by offering a blanket block on their ability to challenge the Bacardi trademark in US courts. Havana Club is a popular mark worldwide, and the story of its origin is a little murky, but in essence, the product bearing that label sold everywhere else in the world but the US is owned by the Franco-Cuban consortium. The US provision was challenged at the World Trade Organization, and the panel found the United States in violation. But 12 years later, it still has not changed the provision, known as Section 211. Today at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting, some 20 WTO members criticised the United States for its ongoing failure to comply, according to sources. Members that took the floor included the United States, Cuba, Bolivia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Angola, China, Mexico, and the European Union. The United States made a short statement saying that six bills have been introduced to repeal or modify it. But none have been successful. Cuba called the US intervention “contradictory,” and detailed the US track record of reporting on unsuccessful attempts that suggest it is a country lacking resources and the ability to pass legislation. But in reality, Cuba said, it “exerts a major hegemony at the global level,” that allows it to feel “entitled to carry out extraterritorial actions beyond its borders and that attempts to influence the fate of many other nations.” Section 211 was part of the US embargo against Cuba, it says, in which it robbed Cuban assets. But Cuba concluded by saying that the “lack of regulations in the Dispute Settlement Understanding to ensure effective compliance with the DSB recommendations and rulings favors the United States to continue ignoring this Body’s determinations.” China, for its part, called the US non-compliance “highly inappropriate.” Separately, the US also received pressure to comply with another intellectual property-related case it lost: Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act – which involved the US commercial practice of playing music recordings, such as Irish music, aloud in bars without paying royalties. The US said in a statement that it continues work on a resolution with the EU, which won the case. The EU statement today simply stated that they would “like to resolve this case as soon as possible.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."At WTO, Nations Blast US For Continued Failure To Fix Havana Club Dispute" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.