St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • Delays in death row case irk governor
  • Judge overturns verdict against gun distributor
  • Super Bowl XXXVII: Only Floridians saw pitch on glories of state's citrus
  • Churches may push mentoring
  • 1 killed in plane crash; 3 missing
  • More than 800 doctors skip work to decry insurance rates
  • Senators hand in budgetary wish lists
  • Around the state: Teen's trial in fatal beating will be moved to Pinellas
  • Board accepts Bush's intervention
  • Ex-police officer in Jacksonville gets life in slaying

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

    printer version

    Board accepts Bush's intervention

    The governor's letter in a controversial trademark case is appropriate, the appeals panel says.

    Compiled from Times wires
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 28, 2003

    WASHINGTON -- A federal board reviewing a controversial trademark case has rejected a complaint alleging that intervention by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on behalf of Bacardi USA Inc. amounted to an improper one-sided communication in a semijudicial proceeding.

    The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dismissed charges brought by a joint Cuban-French venture. The complaint alleged that Bush's letter last June to James Rogan, director of the patent office, was an ex parte communication "relevant to the merits" of the dispute over control of the trademark for Havana Club, a brand of rum.

    Bush asked in the letter that the Patent and Trademark Office "take quick, decisive action on a pending application to expunge the registration of the trademark Havana Club." The governor said the "outdated registration . . . should be canceled immediately."

    In its ruling, the trademark appeal board wrote: "We view the letter as a complaint on behalf of a Florida-based business about delays in the cancellation process with a request for status information, rather than as an ex parte communication on the merits."

    The finding was criticized by Charles Sims, a lawyer for Havana Club Holdings, the French-Cuban venture that controls the Havana Club trademark. "If the TTAB had called for a review as we requested, we know more instances of improper ex parte communications would have been uncovered. Documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in Florida make that plain."

    During his re-election campaign last summer, Bush denied reports that he helped the liquor manufacturer in the dispute only after the company gave $50,000 to the state Republican Party. Bush said he wrote on behalf of the Miami-based company because it created substantial economic activity in the state and had a work force of more than 300 Floridians.

    "He was working on behalf of a Florida constituent," said Liz Hirst, the governor's spokeswoman.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan

    From the Times state desk