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General Cigar Files Declaratory Judgement Lawsuit Against Arturo Fuente In Trademark Dispute

July 13, 2022 By Matthew Tabacco

General Cigar Company, the premium cigar subsidiary of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, announces today that the company has filed a declaratory judgment trademark lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Fuente Cigar Ltd. and Fuente Marketing Ltd.

In a demand letter dated July 5, 2022, and subsequent email, Fuente accused General Cigar of infringing various Fuente marks containing the letter X in connection with General Cigar’s recently-launched CAO Bx3 brand. Among other things, Fuente demanded that General Cigar cease distribution of the CAO Bx3 product immediately. As premium cigars smokers will immediately recognize, Fuente’s demand ignored General Cigar’s longstanding use of X as a brand motif in connection with CAO cigars, including CAO Lx2 and CAO Mx2. Most importantly, Fuente ignored the obvious: consumers could never confuse the parties’ respective marks and trade dress. Accordingly, General Cigar filed a federal lawsuit on July 11, 2022, seeking a declaration that CAO Bx3 mark does not infringe any Fuente trademarks.

Régis Broersma, senior vice president of Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s North America Branded and Rest of World Division and president of General Cigar said, “Given the legislative and legal hurdles facing the premium cigar category today, it is disappointing that Fuente Cigar Ltd. has decided to threaten us with a baseless lawsuit. The fact is that CAO has a series of legacy brands with “X” in their name and their trade dress, including CAO Lx2, CAO Mx2 and others, which have coexisted with Fuente brands for many years. Drawing on legacy CAO font and logo treatments, CAO Bx3 packaging bears the legend “Brazilian times three” while adding modern, brightly colored artwork that evokes the colors of the national and state flags of Brazil. Given these distinctions, consumers will not be confused. We look forward to vindicating our position in federal court.”

Stay tuned for more developments on this story. We will bring them to you once we have them.

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