Houston Cigar Week Controversy

This is an ongoing development but here are the facts so far.

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There are two separate organizations hosting a series of events during May 2021 under the Houston Cigar Week name.

The first event will be held from May 12th through the 16th hosted by the Houston Cigar Festival.

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The next event will be held from May 27th through May 30th over Memorial Day weekend hosted by For Smokers Only, Westside Smokers, Spades Cigars, SODO, Cut Light Smoke and Texas Cigar Aficionados.

While the events themselves should be well attended as they are about two weeks apart and the Houston cigar community is large enough and social enough to support both events, the controversy is in the naming rights.

As of October 24th, 2020 a trademark was filed with the U.S. Patent & Trademark office. You can see the listing details here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4810:zl17p7.2.1

However, a filing does not guarantee a trademark will be granted as there are caveats that will be discovered during the trademark discovery process.

Those rules can be found in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure which you can see by clicking here, but I have provided the relevant text below:

In Section 201.02 under Constructive Use Priority it states:

Upon registration, filing affords the applicant nationwide priority over others, except:  (1) parties who used the mark before the applicant’s filing date; (2) parties who filed in the USPTO before the applicant; or (3) parties who are entitled to an earlier priority filing date based on the filing of a foreign application under 15 U.S.C. §1126(d)   or §1141g  (see TMEP §206.02)


The key element there is if anyone has used the trademarked filing name before, then it may not be granted.

So for the time being it is unclear who will be able to use the Houston Cigar Week name for their events either in 2021 or beyond, but what we do know there will be be 2 events.

As this story develops, I’ll provide additional details, but this is what we know so far.

If you have any additional information about this story, please reach out to us on Instagram @houstoncigarlife or send an email to w@houstoncigarlife.com