On July 6, 2018 the United States Patent and Trademark Office released their ruling on Mombacho Cigars’ 2015 petition for cancelation of Tropical Tobacco’s registration on the Principal Register for the mark Mombacho for “cigars” on the grounds of abandonment.
The USPTO dismissed the petition on the basis that Mombacho Cigars did not prove that Tropical Tobacco did not sell bona fide quantities of Mombacho branded cigars for three consecutive years (Tropical Tobacco’s total sales of Mombacho between 2012-2014 ranged from 2 to 6 boxes per year).
Importantly, the ruling has no bearing on who can use the Mombacho trademark in commerce in the United States. Rather, it merely precludes the cancelation of Tropical Tobacco’s Mombacho trademark, a petition that was brought forward by Mombacho Cigars SA to clarify its position in the U.S. cigar marketplace and prevent any consumer confusion on the use of “Mombacho” therein.
This ruling has no impact on day-to-day operations and Mombacho Cigars continues to operate in the United States under its “Mombacho’ flagship banner, as it does in 15 other countries around the world.