In a battle between two drinks companies with the same name, a Guadeloupe rum maker has won the right to trademark its moniker Montebello, fighting off a challenge from a namesake Spanish wine company.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) Court of First Instance has ruled Montebello, of Petit-Bourg, on the French Caribbean island, holds the European Union trademark rights, dismissing arguments that consumers could be confused with wines sold by challenger Bodegas Montebello, of Montilla in Spain.

The Spanish wine company had secured Spanish trademark rights to the name 'Montebello' in 1987 and not just for wines, but for other alcoholic drinks too (barring beers). But with rum being not being generally made in Spain, the court has ruled - following a long legal battle which has run since 2002 - that there was no serious risk of confusion.

"Proof of the serious use of the former mark was reported only for … wines," papers released this week showed the ECJ saying last month.