RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal panel says General Cigar Co. Inc. can continue using the Cohiba (co-HEE-ba) trademark on its cigars in the U.S.
The ruling is the latest in the nearly 16-year-old legal battle with Cuba's state-run cigar company over the signature Cuban cigar brand.
The Richmond, Va.-based subsidiary of Swedish Match AB said Thursday that the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed Cubatabaco's petition asking it to cancel the company's trademark.
The panel ruled that because courts have held Cubatabaco can't sell their cigars in the U.S, it has no standing to challenge the Cohiba trademark in the country.
General Cigar says it has sold its Dominican Cohiba cigar in the U.S. since the early 1980s. It received its first registration of the Cohiba trademark in the U.S. in 1981.