Budejovicky Budvar now has exclusive rights to the trademark

Budejovicky Budvar now has exclusive rights to the trademark

Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has claimed a new victory in its long-running trademark battle with Anheuser-Busch InBev after a Lisbon court granted it exclusive rights to the Budweiser name in Portugal.

The ruling, which ends an 11-year tussle over the trademark in Portugal, bans A-B InBev from selling beer labelled 'Budweiser'. The court also dismissed a petition from A-B InBev to cancel Budweiser trademarks owned by Budejovicky Budvar.

A spokesperson for Budejovicky Budvar said: “After so many years, this judgement finally gives us legal certainty and guarantees the exclusivity of our brand, as well as prospects for future growth of our business in this country.”

An A-B InBev spokesperson told just-drinks that the ruling “does not alter the current situation at all” as the brewer will continue to sell its beer under its 'BUD' brand in Portugal.

The court rulings included:

  • Cancelling A-B InBev's trademark No. 297.665 ‘Cold Filtered Ice Draft Beer From Budweiser’, and
  • Banning A-B InBev from selling beer labelled Budweiser, or with any designations similar to Budejovicky Budvar's trademarks, in Portugal

Yesterday's decision at the Court of Commerce follows another Lisbon court's rejection in December of A-B InBev's attempts to register four new trademarks for the Budweiser name.

The Portuguese case dates back to 2001, when A-B InBev attempted to register the stamps, but in 2003 the country's trademark office refused, leading to an appeal by the Budweiser brewer.

Neither company has a big share in Portugal as the beer market is dominated by Unicer's Super Bock and Sociedade Central de Cervejas' Sagres.

Late last year, Budvar lost out in its bid to register the term 'BUD' as an appellation of origin in France, but said it may appeal the decision.