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The International Trademark Association (INTA), the Law Firm of Ladas & Parry LLP, the Ladas Award Judges, considered 3L Pablo Balana-Vicente’s paper “Birth, Metamorphosis, and Resurrection: Let the “Little” Havana Club Prevail” as one of the two winning papers in the student category for the 2020 edition.

The paper explains the history of the Arechabalas, the family that created the Havana Club rum and had its business confiscated after the Cuban revolution. It also examines how the Cuban government took control over the Arechabala’s Havana Club trademarks in Spain and the USA, and the litigation that Bacardí undertook to recover the trademarks. In Spain, the Cuban government prevailed not on the merits; in the USA, the litigation is still ongoing. Finally, the paper proposes a solution to the legal dispute in the USA based on the premise that the extraterritorial effects of a confiscation in Cuba should not be counterbalanced with the extraterritorial application of US law.

The Ladas Award, which was established in memory of the firm’s late partner Dr. Stephen P. Ladas, carries with it a $2,500 cash award. This winning article will be considered for publication in the Trademark Reporter (TMR), INTA’s legal journal.

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