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CZECH: Anheuser-Busch InBev ups ante in legal row through Pivovar Samson buy

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Anheuser-Busch InBev has confirmed its purchase of Pivovar Samson in Czech and has warned that the transaction “further strengthens” its position in the legal row with Budejovický Budvar.

The global brewer said earlier today (3 July) that it has completed the purchase of Samson for an undisclosed sum. Samson is the brewing side of Budejovický Meštanský Pivovar, from whom A-B InBev bought the 'Budweiser' trademark rights that it held, in 2011.

Like Budvar, Meštanský is based in the Czech city of Budejovice, the German name for which is Budweis.

“The Samson brewery today produces and commercialises amongst others the Samson, 1795 and Pito brands,” said A-B InBev. “We are currently evaluating the expansion of the use of Samson’s Budweiser brand.

“The acquisition further strengthens A-B InBev’s legal position, particularly as it relates to the Budweiser brand.”

Speaking to just-drinks, a spokesperson for A-B InBev said: The acquisition we have concluded now, combined with the geographic indication rights and means of production, further strengthens and enhances our ability to fully exploit the Budweiser intellectual property. It also gives us the right to exploit ... the Samson, 1795 and Pito trademarks.

However, in a statement earlier this week, a spokesperson for Budvar said: “Changing the owner has no bearing on the trademarks, the course of lawsuits between Budweiser Budvar and A-B InBev, or any business activities.

“Samson … owns no trademarks with the 'Budweiser' element, carrying out its business activities only under the Samson brand,” the Budvar spokesperson added. “For that reason, the change in owner represents no risks to Budweiser Budvar in lawsuits with A-B InBev.”

The two brewers have been arguing over the term 'Budweiser' since 1907.


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