Trademarks in Cuba and Changes in Cuban Policy

This JD Supra article on March 4, 2015 highlights the importance for US brand owners to file trademark applications in Cuba to protect their brands as US policy shifts in Cuba and the Cuban market opens to US goods and services.  Specifically, it notes that Cuba is a "first-to-file" system (the first party to file a trademark application will be deemed the owner of the trademark) and that US regulations permit trademark registration in Cuba.  Therefore, "now that the prospects [of trading in Cuba] are rising, so is interest in owners registering their marks [in Cuba], and so, too, the interest in pirates exploiting their opportunities."