Anheuser-Busch has claimed victory on its ongoing Budweiser trademark battle in Sweden.

The US brewing giant said yesterday (16 May) that Sweden's Supreme Court had thrown out an appeal from Czech rival Budejovicky Budvar. The ruling, which ends a seven-year dispute in the Scandinavian country, means A-B holds onto its exclusive rights to the Budweiser name in Sweden.

"The final outcome in Sweden is significant because it recognises Anheuser-Busch as the rightful owner of the Budweiser name, one we first registered 17 years before Budejovicky Budvar was founded, said Steve Burrows, president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch International.

Sweden had found in A-B's favour last year when, guided by a 2005 World Trade Organization panel's decision, ruled that geographic indications protected in Europe cannot be used in translation if they interfere with prior or existing trademarks.

The court ordered Budejovicky Budvar to stop using "Budweiser Budvar" on its labels, packaging and advertising, a decision that had led to the Czech brewer's appeal.