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CZECH REPUBLIC: Czechs end plans to privatise Budvar

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The trademark dispute between rival Budweiser producers, Anheuser-Busch and the Czech Republic's Budweiser Budvar, has put an end to plans to privatise the Czech brewer.

A government spokesman in the Czech Republic said that all plans for privatisation had been scrapped because they may put Budvar's trademark rights under risk in the process.  

The Czech government had said in the past that Budvar would not be sold before the trademark dispute had been settled. But in a report by Dow Jones, cabinet spokesman Libor Roucek revealed that the wholly state-owned operation had now been taken off the list of companies up for eventual privatisation.

Anheuser-Busch and Budvar are involved in some 40 legal disputes around the world concerning the Budweiser name. Both companies have achieved a number of victories in different markets.

In a connected issue, a regional court in Ceske Budejovice, home to Budvar, issued an injunction on a neighbouring and rival brewer for the Budweiser name.

Following the ruling, the brewer Budejovicky mestansky pivovar will be unable to sell beer with its trademark Budweiser Buergebraeu, as it may confuse consumers by reminding them of the Budvar product.

Budejovicky mestansky pivovar, formerly Jihoceske pivovary, asked in 2001 that Budvar's Budweiser trademark be deleted. The brewer is claiming that it is defending its historical rights, without any intention to attack the success of Budvar.

According to Czech sources, it is claiming to be trying to right a political and business decision to separate Budvar from the Jihoceske pivovary family without any settlement of trademark issues.


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