EUROPE: EU court rejects Budvar trademark appeal
Budvar has lost its appeal covering the four EU countries
In the latest legal battle between the two, the EU's General Court said in a ruling today (22 January) that Budvar's evidence proving the use of the term in the four countries was “insufficient”.
The court said that the state-owned Czech brewer did not have any evidence “capable of showing the use” of Bud in Austria, France, Italy and Portugal before A-B InBev's application in July 1996. Budvar has been in trademark disputes with A-B InBev for more than 100 years.
In an emailed statement, A-B InBev said the ruling was “majorly important”, as it will “fill in the gaps” in the few European countries it does not have trademark protection for Bud or Budweiser.
“We are extremely pleased that the continued expansion of our trademark rights supports our global expansion plans for Budweiser,” the company said.
However, a UK spokesperson for Budvar said that it was “not the end of the road for this issue by any means” and claimed the ruling will mean nothing in practice.
“At the very best they (A-B InBev) can take this decision as a tiny compensation prize for the humiliation they seem to have felt over Budvar’s UK trademark victory earlier this month,” the spokesperson added.
Last week, the UK's Supreme Court threw out an appeal by A-B InBev as part of a bid to get Budvar's Budweiser trademark cancelled in the UK.
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