U.S. Trademark Protections Reintroduced in Senate
U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) this week encouraged colleagues to help U.S. companies protect trademarks registered in Cuba. The Cuban Trademark Protection Act, which Martinez introduced as an original co-sponsor, seeks to safeguard these U.S. trademarks and their legitimate owners from the effects in the U.S. of confiscations by the Cuban government, while at the same time bringing the United States into technical compliance with World Trade Organization regulations.
"This will continue to provide a level of statutory protection to the holders of wrongfully taken trademarks," Martinez said. "Not only did many Cubans leave behind family and belongings when they were forced to flee their homeland, they also had intellectual property stolen. This ensures that the rightful owners of U.S. trademarks are protected and that Cuba cannot profit from these names in the U.S."
When the Castro regime seized power in Cuba, it confiscated private property and other assets belonging to both the Cuban people and foreign investors. The Cuban government also stole intellectual property, including trademarks. The Cuban Trademark Protection Act re-asserts protection in the U.S. for the rightful owners of confiscated Cuban trademarks. It will apply to all people, regardless of nationality, and will clarify that trademarks and trade names confiscated by the Cuban government will not be recognized or enforced in the United States without consent of the original owner.