US president Obama’s recent historical visit to Cuba was the visible culmination of the thawing of diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba. Beyond the geopolitical, however, important economic restrictions were, or are being, lifted.
What does this mean in terms of Trademark Protection?
The opening of Cuban markets means that many companies that were previously banned from expanding into Cuba will now be able to do so. When considering such an expansion, one of the first and most important steps is to determine how to protect the trademark in the territory of Cuba, first by determining whether an identical or similar trademark already exists in that country, and then by filing a trademark application for Cuba.
Beware of Trademark Squatters
Even if you have no definite plans to use your trademark in the Cuban market for the near future, but the territory is one you might expand to at some point, you might consider registering your trademark there. In the recent months, trademark applications for numerous notorious brands have been filed in bad faith by applicants unrelated to the legitimate brand owners, most likely in order to try and negotiate their sale back to the original owners – a practice known as trademark squatting. Although several legal means exist that might enable the legitimate owners to obtain the trademark from the bad-faith applicants, such means are usually extremely costly and time-consuming. It is therefore highly recommended, if the Cuban market is of some importance to you, that you apply for your trademark in this jurisdiction as soon as possible.
See iGERENT's prices for trademark services in Cuba here.
iGERENT offers trademark services in 180+ countries, for further information visit igerent.com.
Author: Victoire Bauvin Trademark Consultant @ iGERENT