THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
TRADEMARK EXAMINING OPERATION

In re U.S. Trademark Application Serial No.: 77/129,912
Applicant:  Santa Cruz Tobacco Co., Inc.
Examining Atty:  David C. Reihner
Law Office:   111
Our Ref. No.:   130171.010100

                                                           
Mark:  GRAN HABANO

DECLARATION

, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, declares and says:

  1. I am .
    .
  2. .
  3. Since , I have been selling the GRAN HABANO brand cigar in my or have distributed the GRAN HABANO CIGAR .
  4. As a result of my years of experience in the cigar industry, I am very familiar with consumer preferences when it comes to selecting and purchasing a brand of cigar. Specifically, I have extensive knowledge of consumer likes and dislikes, as well as the specific characteristics of a cigar that influence consumer purchasing decisions.
  5. I decided to sell/distribute the GRAN HABANO brand cigar because of its quality and success in the marketplace.
  6. There are scores of brands of cigars in the marketplace with Cuba-related names that are made from Cuban-seed tobacco that is grown, cultivated and made in countries around the world. These cigars have been in the marketplace for many decades since the Cuban Revolution and cigar manufacturers fled Cuba.  Due to the widespread sale in the marketplace of cigars made from Cuban-seed tobacco, consumers have grown accustomed over the many decades to recognizing that cigars sold under Cuba-related names or brands that “evoke” the Cuban heritage and Cuban history of cigar making, but may not presently originate in Cuba. 
  7. GRAN HABANO is considered a premium cigar and a luxury item that is scrutinized by cigar purchasers and cigar enthusiasts.
  8. GRAN HABANO cigars are typically sold at retail for $ for a cigar box of 20 cigars and are sold among other premium cigars in cigar shops and boutiques across the United States.
  9. My customers are typically male, highly educated purchasers who look for specific brands, seek the advice of the cigar store clerks or read about new and/or recommended cigar brands reviewed in cigar magazines such as Cigar Aficionado and Smoke. Cigars are typically purchased with great care and effort since they are considered a luxury item by consumers.
  10. My customers come from a variety of backgrounds. Cigars are not only for Spanish speaking customers. Most of the customers in the United States are not originally Latin or native Spanish speakers. The same is true for those customers who have purchased GRAN HABANO cigars. .
  11. My customers are aware of the Cuban embargo by the United States and that it is impossible to get Cuban cigars in the United States.
  12. Last year I sold GRAN HABANO Cigars. The customers that bought GRAN HABANO Cigars were highly sophisticated, and knew what they were buying. Usually a cigar customer know a lot about the tobacco contained in the cigar, the difference between types and varieties of tobacco, and where it has been grown and with what methods it has been created.
  13. Most of my customers in the cigar industry are highly sophisticated since cigars are considered a luxury item, about . Only of my customers are not sophisticated, new aficionados that are learning about cigars.
  14. I have never had a complaint or a question from a customer believing GRAN HABANO cigars are from Cuba.
  15. I am very familiar with the plethora of cigar brands in the marketplace and can readily explain to potential purchasers the features and origins of the GRAN HABANO cigar. 
  16. My customers buy GRAN HABANO because of its quality, high rating, and great reputation. Other reasons that cigar customers take into account when buying cigars of the quality and price of GRAN HABANO are: .
  17. Based on my experience in the industry, the term “habano” in the GRAN HABANO brand has not been a material factor in my customers’ decision to purchase GRAN HABANO cigars. Rather, they have told me that they purchased GRAN HABANO cigars because of  their .

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed on:    January 28, 2022 

 

 

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