America newspapers are reporting that the US has been rebuffed on a World Trade Organisation (WTO) case focusing on the Budweiser brand battle.

Washington has been trying to get European Union (EU) geographical indication laws declared illegal under global intellectual property rules because they protected the use of the brand by Czech brewer Budìjovický Budvar.

Although US diplomats have been claiming that a WTO disputes panel has criticised EU rules for failing to give high quality imported products (including Champagne and Scotch whisky) the same protection as those made in Europe, they have admitted that they "lost on this area of the dispute" according to a leaked preliminary ruling sent to Washington and Brussels.

It is expected, however, that resulting changes to EU geographical indication rules would probably lead to their extension to imported goods rather than their abolition.