One up to Budejovicky Budvar against Anheuser-Busch InBev over Budweiser

One up to Budejovicky Budvar against Anheuser-Busch InBev over Budweiser

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev cannot register the name Budweiser as a trademark across the EU.

The trademark for the word already belongs to the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, the ECJ said yesterday (29 July).

The decision of Europe's highest court follows A-B InBev's attempts to register Budweiser as its trademark in the EU in 1996. The global brewer's initial application to the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market was rejected in favour of Budvar's earlier registration, leading to A-B InBev appealing to the high court.

“For us, it is very much a stabilising factor as far as our position in the EU goes,” said Budvar’s lawyer, Helena Lejtnarová.

However, the vice president for global communications at A-B InBev, Marianne Amssoms, countered that the judgment has no effect on the company's business in Europe or its existing Bud or Budweiser rights.

Budejovicky Budvar is the only one allowed to use the Budweiser name in 19 EU countries, most notably Germany. “In another eight, it belongs to the other side of the dispute and in UK to both,” Petr Samec of Budvar told just-drinks today.