Dutch brewer Bavaria has fended off complaints from an alliance of German brewers in the EU's highest court to secure trademark rights for Bavaria beer in Italy.

A European Court of Justice judge yesterday (2 July) upheld Bavaria's right to sell its namesake beer brand in Italy.

The ruling follows victory for Bavaria in Spain and is a second defeat in as many months for Bayrischer Brauerbund, an association representing brewers in Germany's state of Bavaria.

In 2001, Bayrischer Brauerbund registed the trademark "Bayerisches Bier" as a protected geographical indication (PGI) in the EU. Since then, it has stepped up attempts to stop Netherlands-based Bavaria from using the Bavaria name in EU member states.

The Dutch brewer began using the name in 1925 and registered it as a trademark in several countries in 1947, the European Court of Justice said.

It ruled that there was no conflict between the PGI and the pre-existing trademarks of Bavaria. 

Click here to view the European Court of Justic ruling.