Anheuser-Busch has claimed victory over Budejovicky Budvar in 12 European trademark decisions. The Czech-based brewer, however, has moved to play down the ruling, claiming it is "not a threat" to its EU business activities.

The Court of First Instance in Luxembourg ruled today (12 June) that it has dismissed Budvar's opposition to 12 A-B community trademark applications. The trademark applications covered a variety of promotional goods including clothing, beermats, neon signs and glassware.

"Securing these 12 community trademark registrations will provide us with greater opportunities to promote our products throughout the EU and will provide increased protection against others trying to benefit from our brand names," said Tom Santel, president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch International.

Budvar, however, dismissed the ruling as not being "relevant to the sale of Budvar beer".

"The Luxembourg Court's current rulings in the matter of the Community Trademarks have no influence whatsoever on the validity of the prior trademarks previously registered by Budweiser Budvar in the individual EU countries on a national level," said Budweiser Budvar's lawyer, Helena Lejtnarová.

The rulings are subject to one last appeal to the European Court of Justice. Budvar said it will consider whether to appeal against the decision.