Budejovicky Budvar has claimed victory over Anheuser-Busch in Finland over trademark rights to the Budweiser name.

The development marks the latest in the long-running battle between the two brewers over ownership of the Budweiser trademark.

Late last week, Finland's high court upheld a previous court decision allowing Budvar to use the Budejovicky Budvar trademark in the country. The ruling also awarded Budvar's trading company the right to use the name Budweiser Budvar N.C., a spokesman for the brewer told local press. The court's decision is final, the spokesman added.

However, yesterday (5 January), Anheuser-Busch International CEO and president Steve Burrows said that theUS brewing giant was pleased that the court had recognised its trademark rights to 'Budweiser' and 'Bud' in Finland.

"We are disappointed the court, in the same ruling, has allowed Budejovicky Budvar to refer to its company as Budweiser Budvar, National Enterprise in Finland," Burrows said. Anheuser-Busch has 'Bud' and 'Budweiser' trademark protection in 21 of 25 EU nations, Burrows added.

In November 2004, the Finnish Court was told by the European Court of Justice that it would have to decide for itself who should control the Budweiser trademark.

The two companies are still involved in around 40 more lawsuits worldwide regarding the use of 'Budweiser.'