Anheuser-Busch Acquires Czech Brewery Samson, But Loses Legal Battle in Portugal Over Budweiser Brand

Aug 28 2014 - 16:51

The Lisbon Appeals Court has recently upheld an earlier ruling preventing the US brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev from selling its beer in Portugal under the Budweiser name.

The court rejected Anheuser-Busch’s appeal on the grounds that Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser trademarks could be mistaken for those that the Czech state-owned brewery Budejovicky Budvar had already registered in Portugal.

The Czech brewery announced that the decision is final, but the court could not be reached to confirm this.

On a similar note, at the beginning of July, Anheuser-Busch acquired the Czech brewery Pivovar Samson, based in the same Czech town as Budejovicky Budvar – Ceske Budejovice. Anheuser-Busch believes that this acquisition will strengthen its position in the legal battle with Budejovicky Budvar over the Budweiser brand.

But Budejovicky Budvar disagrees. “Pivovar Samson is neither a legal nor historic successor to the former municipal brewery named Die Budweiser Braeuberechtigten-Buergerliches Braeuhaus Budweis, established in 1795. It does not therefore own trademarks containing the name Budweiser and it runs business under the Samson brand only. For this reason the change of the owner does not pose any risk for Budejovicky Budvar in court disputes with Anheuser-Busch,” Budejovicky Budvar representatives explained.

The Czech Industrial Property Office’s online database shows that Pivovar Samson owns approximately 30 trademarks, none of which contain the word Budweiser.

Prepared by: Aleksandra Pavlovic

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Source: The Prague Post, CBS News

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