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Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CLXVI

6 Nov 2009

As we have since July 2006, each Friday we’ll post a mixed bag of quick cigar news and other items of interest. We call ‘em Friday Samplers. Enjoy.

Tatuaje1) Altadis, the world’s largest cigar company, is suing Tatuaje Cigars, Pete Johnson, and Don Pepin Garcia. The lawsuit alleges trademark violations, in part over the fleur-de-lis used to market the Montecristo and Tatuaje brands. Other issues cited in the complaint include Pepin’s use of the “Tabacalera Garcia” name (Altadis owns “Tabacalera de Garcia” in the Dominican Republic) and confusion between “Jose Pepin Garcia” and the late “Jose Pepe Garcia,” founder of Montecristo. Altadis argues that these and other similarities confuse consumers. But Johnson’s attorney, according to Cigar Aficionado, says Altadis is “trying to stifle good American competition by someone who is building a business.”

2) Officials in St. Louis County overwhelmingly approved a smoking ban on Tuesday. The law, which goes into effect in January 2011, currently excludes casinos. But many expect that exemption to be quickly rescinded.

3) Inside the Industry: The new PG 20th Anniversary will be  arriving at select stores soon after its debut at a special dinner on the last day before Virginia’s new restrictive smoking ban goes into effect. General Cigar has announced that Modesta Fondeur will retire from her position as executive vice president of tobacco and operations at the end of the year.

4) Around the Blogs: Stogie Review lights up a Quesada 35th Anniversary. Keepers of the Flame torches an Alec Bradley Select Cabinet Reserve. The Cohiba Club herfs with a Ambos Mundos. Cigar Inspector inspects the Don Tomás Clasico. Stogie Fresh fires up a J. Fuego Delerium. Matt smokes the Cain Habano. Nice Tight Ash reviews the Diesel.

5) Deal of the Week: Depending on how big of a Nub aficionado you are, you’ll want to grab one of these two Nub samplers. Nub fans will like this sampler of six different Nubs for just $30. Bigger Nub fans will want to double up with this sampler of 12 assorted Nubs for just $50. Grab them here and here.

The Stogie Guys

photo credit: Flickr

8 Responses to “Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CLXVI”

  1. Anthony Ferreira Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    Montecristo vs. Tatuaje looks like a good reason for me to boycott Montecristo. I always prefered Juan Lopez, Vegas Robaina, and Los Heces en La Manta special Edicion. Hey Altis this DRAC’s for you and later I’ll be puffing a Frankenstein. Meanwhile you can take you’re 2 + 4’s and shove em. Just a suggestion! Punta.

  2. CWS Friday, November 6, 2009 at 7:56 am #

    Tatuaje any day over Monte Cristo . . . classic big guys threatened over creative small guys…

  3. Louis Stone Friday, November 6, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Sounds like Altadis is grasping at straws because they've not enjoyed the overwhelming success that Pete Johnson and Pepin Garcia have created by crafting a superior product. There's a reason Pete's cigars are highly rated on a consistent basis.

    As for the details of the suit – puhlease! Die hard cigar smokers aren't going to be confused by these elements. Literate cigar smokers know the difference between the brand names, that are in no way similar at all.

    If they were appealing to an illiterate consumer base they would just put a big pretty picture on it, like they did in the old days.

  4. Ben Igrisan Friday, November 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    As far as I understand you can’t trademark circles, squares, fleur-de-lis, etc.
    PLUS what consumer spending more than $10 on a single cigar is going to be confused by what brand he or she is purchasing?

  5. Shamus Friday, November 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    I scanned the Altadis Group list to fix in mind any favs I now need to boycott. Alas, the Henry Clay is an Altadis cigar.

    While I realize in our lawsuit-laden system Altadis has every right to file any and all suits, Altadis should also consider the return on investment (potential award minus fees plus brand identity is not the end game.)

    Makes me wonder if Mr. Johnson spurned a buy-out and this is an attempt at motivation to reconsider or revenge by Altadis.

    Because, were I Altadis, a purchase of Tatuaje to restore the damage to the "iconic Montecristo" brand is exactly what the doc calls for.

  6. Solid Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    Hang in there Pete and Don Pepin! WTF is Altadis doing! I’m going to boycott Cuban smokes as well since Altadis owns 50% of Habanos S.A.! what a shame, Pete Johnson is one of coolest people in the cigar world and brings old world traditions in to his creations, and DPG is simply amazing period! Altadis you jealous f*&ks! Your Garcia uhm actually Jose Seijas couldn’t produce a hit for you though the Seijas Signature Line are fine cigars at extremely high prices! Shame on you! So how many years was your ASS being kicked before you came to this level of stupidity and despiration? oh P.S. your Siglo line blows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. big mike Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    is the 20th anniversary going to be as strong as the 15th anniversary?the 15th is one of my go to smokes.a review on the new 20th would be fantastic and much appreciated. as if you needed an excuse to smoke a pg.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Guys Friday Sampler CLXVIII - Friday, November 20, 2009

    […] trademark disputes.” In a non-disclosed settlement, the two companies agreed to drop all pending lawsuits. While it wasn’t clear from the initial statement released, Altadis has confirmed to […]