UK: Budejovicky Budvar gets latest nod in Budweiser trademark row
The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that both Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch InBev can hold the Budweiser trademark in the UK
Earlier today (3 July), the court gave its judgement “all but guaranteeing Budvar’s right to maintain its Budweiser trademark registration in the UK”, the Czech brewer said. The move allows both companies to simultaneously hold the trademark in the UK, which the Court of Appeal initially ruled in 2000.
In 2005, however, Anheuser-Busch started legal action in the UK to invalidate Budvar's co-ownership of the Budweiser name.
“Today’s judgement allows the trade mark register to reflect the reality of the situation in the market place – that both brands co-exist and have done so for many years,” said Mark Blair, partner at Marks & Clerk Solicitors, who acted for Budvar.
When contacted by just-drinks today, a spokesperson for A-B InBev said: “While we are disappointed with the ruling of the Court of Appeal, the decision neither impacts our Budweiser trademark rights in the UK, which remain strong and unchallenged, nor our Budweiser business, which continues to show strong development opportunities.”
A-B InBev's Budweiser grew by “over 40%” between 2009 and 2011 in the UK, the spokesperson noted.
In September last year, the European Court of Justice said that both brewers could use the trademark in the UK, as “consumers are well aware of the difference” between the companies’ beers.
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