Mombacho Cigars S.A. has announced that it will rebranding its products in the U.S. market under the Favilli S.A. name. It’s a reference to Casa Favilli, the company’s factory in Granada, Nicaragua that was designed in 1925 by Mario Favilli.
A press release from the company says that the change is being made to coincide with the company’s 15th anniversary, though the company is also facing an ongoing lawsuit over its use of the Mombacho name in the U.S.
In April, AGANORSA Leaf—which owns the rights to the Mombacho trademark in the U.S.—filed a lawsuit against Mombacho Cigars S.A. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. It’s the latest in a long-running saga between the two companies over the use of the Mombacho name in the U.S.
Tropical Tobacco, Inc.—a company known today as AGANORSA Leaf—filed for a trademark for the name Mombacho in 2003 and was awarded the trademark the following year. Mombacho Cigars S.A.—a completely different entity—introduced its own cigars in 2006 and began selling them out of the company’s old factory in Granada before adding distribution. At one point, Mombacho Cigars S.A.’s products were sold in the U.S. under the Tierra Volcán name while it sold its products using the Mombacho in international markets where Mombacho Cigars S.A. owns the trademark rights. In 2017, Mombacho Cigars S.A. began phasing out the Tierra Volcán name in the U.S., replacing it with Mombacho.
In 2016, Mombacho Cigars S.A. asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Tropical’s (AGANORSA) trademark for Mombacho. In its request, Mombacho Cigars S.A. argued that Tropical had abandoned the trademark because Tropical had stopped selling cigars under the Mombacho name during 2012-2015. For its part, Tropical said that wasn’t true and it argued that it sold boxes—albeit fewer than 10 per year—during each of those years. Ultimately, the USPTO ruled in Tropical’s (AGANORSA) favor and declined to cancel the trademark.
Despite the 2018 ruling, Mombacho Cigars S.A. has continued to sell its products using the Mombacho name in the U.S., though it now appears to be moving away from that as the word Mombacho isn’t present on any of the product images the company provided alongside its press release announcing the new packaging. Tropical’s lawsuit against Mombacho Cigars S.A. is ongoing with filings in the case as recent as yesterday.