A Hungarian court has ruled in Anheuser-Busch's favour, in the latest episode in the battle for control of the Budweiser and Bud trademarks with rival brewer Budejovicky Budvar, a statement from Anheuser has claimed.

A-B said that a court had ordered the cancellation of Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar's "Bud," "Budweiser Budvar" and "Budweiser Bier-Budvar" appellation of origin registrations in Hungary. The judgment affirms the same 2002 decision by the Hungarian Patent and Trademark Office.

In cancelling the appellation of origin for "Bud," the Metropolitan Court concluded the term "Bud" was not geographical and was in no way a reference to the city where Budejovicky Budvar is located, Ceske Budejovice.

The court's decision still leaves Budejovicky Budvar with two appellations of origin for "Budweiser Bier" in Hungary. The decision is subject to appeal.

"The Metropolitan Court's decision to cancel Budejovicky Budvar's appellation of origin sets a strong and persuasive precedent that 'Bud' does not qualify for this kind of protection," said Stephen J. Burrows, president and chief executive officer, Anheuser-Busch International, Inc. "This is another significant court decision for Anheuser-Busch and reinforces our commitment to protect our famous trademarks throughout the world."

The decision by the Hungarian court follows a ruling earlier this year when a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel concluded that prior trademarks generally supersede later geographic indications. That decision thereby halted Budejovicky Budvar's efforts to rely on the registration of Budejovicky Pivo to justify its use of "Budweiser" throughout the European Union.

The appellation of origin dispute in Hungary began in 1998 after Anheuser-Busch was successful in cancelling Budejovicky Budvar's "Bud" trademark.