ITALY: Budvar to start using 'Budweiser' again after latest legal tussle
The trademark battle between the brewers has been running since 1907
A ruling from the Italian Supreme Court means that A-B InBev must stop using the 'Budweiser' brand name in the country, instead selling its beer under the name 'Bud'. The Belgium-headquartered brewer said today (8 October) that it is “disappointed” by the ruling, but hinted that it may appeal the decision.
“We are considering our legal options,” the company said in a statement to just-drinks.
The case in Italy dates back to 2001, when A-B InBev filed a lawsuit against the Italian importers of Budvar demanding they stop using the words 'Bud' and 'Budweiser' when selling beer, according to the state-owned Czech brewer. In the interim, Budvar has sold its beer with the 'Czechvar' label and later with the label 'Budejovický Budvar' in Italy.
“This is a great victory. We can return to the Italian market with our original 'Budweiser Budvar' trademark,” said Budvar's director Jirí Bocek.
Budvar has been in dispute with A-B InBev over the Budweiser trademark for more than 100 years. In 2011, the European Court of Justice sided with the Czech company in its UK fight, saying “consumers are well aware of the difference” between the companies’ beers, while in 2009, A-B InBev failed in an attempt to register the Budweiser name as a protected trademark in the EU.
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