Another fight over the use of the letter “X” has erupted and this time it involves General Cigar Co. On July 5, the law firm representing Arturo Fuente Cigar Co. sent a cease-and-desist letter to General Cigar requesting that the company immediately halt use of the X mark found on the logo of General’s newly-launched CAO Bx3 brand. According to Fuente, the prominent use of the letter “X” on the CAO Bx3’s box and packaging is an infringement on its trademark, specifically for the Fuente Fuente OpusX brand of cigars.
The letter issued to General states:
“We acknowledge and understand that the mark is being used with the CAO house mark but because of the prominent X, your use of the mark BX3 is likely to cause confusion with Fuente and its X marks for smoker’s articles. Thus, we request that you cease use of this and any other Fuente trademark, so that consumers are not deceived into mistakenly believing that your cigars are associated with or made, licensed, or approved by Fuente.”
In response, General filed a declaratory judgment trademark lawsuit on July 11 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against Fuente Cigar Ltd. and Fuente Marketing Ltd. General is seeking a declaration that its CAO Bx3 mark does not infringe on Fuente’s trademarks.
General argues that other CAO brands—specifically the CAO Lx2 and Mx2—have been on the market for more than a decade, and both incorporate the letter “X” in their respective trade dress and logos, like the Bx3. Fuente, says General, never took legal issue with these brands in the past.