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Press Release: FAVORABLE RULING FOR GENERAL CIGAR IN COHIBA TRADEMARK CASE

by Bryan Glynn, July 15, 2010
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For Immediate Release
July 15, 2010
Contact: Victoria McKee Jaworski
General Cigar Co. Inc.
732 721 0317 or 732 580 5215
vmckee@gcigar.com

FAVORABLE RULING FOR GENERAL CIGAR IN COHIBA TRADEMARK CASE

Richmond, VA—On July 14, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of General Cigar in the latest round of litigation in the Cohiba® trademark case, affirming that General Cigar is the rightful owner of the Cohiba trademark in the U.S.

According to Dan Carr, chief operating officer of General Cigar, “The Second Circuit court’s ruling upholds what we have always believed since we first filed a U.S. application to register the COHIBA trademark in 1978: that General Cigar is the rightful owner of Cohiba in the U.S. We continue to remain confident that our exclusive right to the Cohiba cigar brand in the U.S. will be upheld even if Cubatabaco attempts further legal efforts to challenge these rights.”

The appeals court concluded that Cuban-government-owned Cubatabaco’s argument that a change in a law justified re-opening this case was “without merit” and restored the U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in 2005 in favor of General Cigar over Cubatabaco.

In various court opinions beginning in late 2008 and into early 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that there were changes to New York State Unfair Competition law that provided Cubatabaco the basis to re-open this case. Yesterday’s Appeals Court decision overturned the lower court’s rulings.

Cubatabaco first filed suit against General Cigar in 1997, claiming rights to the Cohiba name in the United States under U.S. law, although Cubatabaco had failed to take any legal action against General Cigar for nearly 20 years.

About General Cigar
General Cigar Co. Inc. manufactures and markets handcrafted cigars for the premium market. Committed to delivering cigars of the finest quality, General Cigar also produces Macanudo®, Cohiba®, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur®, La Gloria Cubana and several other leading premium brands. In addition, the company grows its own premium Connecticut Shade wrapper tobacco, as well as natural and candela wrapper in the Dominican Republic. General Cigar also operates Club Macanudo®, a cigar bar in New York City. Based in Richmond, VA, General Cigar sells through tobacconists nationwide. For more information, please visit www.cigarworld.com.

® Cohiba, Macanudo, Punch, Partagas, Hoyo de Monterrey, La Gloria Cubana, Excalibur and Club Macanudo are registered trademarks of General Cigar Co. Inc.

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