US brewer Anheuser-Busch has claimed victory in another round in the protracted legal battle over the Budweiser trademark.

A-B said yesterday (21 March) that an appeals court in Italy had ruled in its favour  by ordering the cancellation of three registered trademarks held by Budejovicky Budvar.

A-B stated that the judgment cancels two Budweiser Budbrau trademarks and one Budweiser Budvar trademark.

A-B added that the decision, from the Court of Appeals of Rome, also ruled the Czech brewer does not have the right to use Budweiser as a protected geographic indication in Italy.  The court's ruling was based on a 2005 World Trade Organization dispute panel decision, which concluded protected EU geographic indications could not be used in translation.

"By rejecting another set of Budejovicky Budvar's trademarks, the appellate court further solidifies our exclusive rights to the Bud and Budweiser trademarks," said Steve Burrows, president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch International.  "The court also provided very powerful language to defend our trademarks outside Italy by stating the Budweiser name is not a protected geographic indication in the European Union."

The appeals court judgment affirmed a ruling by the Court of Rome dating from 2005, and is also consistent with an Italian Supreme Court decision of 2002, which ordered Budejovicky Budvar to cease using Budweiser as a trademark for its beer in Italy.