US Brewer Anheuser-Busch Wins Right to Use “Bud” Trademark Throughout EU
US-based brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has scored victory over its Czech competitor Budejovicky Budvar in the latest round of their years-long legal battle over the rights to the “Bud” trademark, after the EU General Court ruled on January 22 that the US brewer has the right to use the “Bud” trademark throughout the European Union.
The EU General Court dismissed the oppositions brought by the Czech brewer against Anheuser-Busch’s application to OHIM for registration of “Bud” as a community trademark for various kinds of goods, including beer.
Budejovicky Budvar filed its oppositions based on the existence of the appellation of origin “bud”, which is protected in France, Italy and Portugal under the Lisbon Agreement and in Austria under the bilateral treaties concluded between Austria and the former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. However, the court ruled that Budvar had not proven that it had used the “Bud” trademark enough in France and Austria before the US brewer applied for a trademark in 1996. OHIM also rejected the Czech brewer’s claim, finding the use of the “Bud” trademark insufficient in all EU member states mentioned above.
Budvar spokesman Petr Samec said that they are considering appealing this decision, while Anheuser-Busch representatives noted in a statement, “We are extremely pleased to have confirmed our right to a Bud trademark registration valid throughout the entire European Union”.
Prepared by: Aleksandra Pavlovic
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Source: New Europe online portal
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