CZECH: Budvar in domestic Bud battle
Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has suffered a blow in its attempts to own the rights to the Budweiser trademark - but this time a smaller domestic rival, not Anheuser-Busch, has laid claim to the name.
The country's trademark authorities have allowed Budejovicky Mestansky Pivovar to register the B.B. Budweiser Bier trademark in the Czech Republic, much to the anger of Budvar.
For decades, the state-owned Czech brewer has fought Anheuser-Busch in courts around the globe for the rights to the Budweiser name but had always been the sole owner of the trademarks domestically.
Most countries award the Budweiser trademark to either Budvar or A-B, although some like the UK, allow both brewers to use the name on their products.
A Budvar spokesman told just-drinks that the decision to allow the privately-owned brewer Mestansky to also use the B.B. Budweiser Bier trademark was "wrong". The brewer, he said, is planning to launch an appeal against the decision.
The spokesman said that the ruling would make it more difficult for Czech beer drinkers to differentiate between the two companies' brands.
Mestansky officials could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.
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