Anheuser-Busch loses name in Europe

March 26, 2009 at 8:29 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 26 (UPI) -- The European Court of First Instances upheld a trademark ruling against U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch Thursday, saying the name "Budweiser" was already taken.

The U.S. company lost a claim to the name in a 2007 ruling issued by the European trade mark office OHIM, the EU Observer reported.

While appealing that ruling, Anheuser-Busch, which was bought by Belgian brewer Inbev last year, tried to buy out the Czech Republic company that holds claim to the Budweiser name in the European Union. But, the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar repeatedly refused invitations to sell out, the Observer said.

In upholding the ruling Thursday, the court noted the Czech brewing company Budejovicky Budvar had produced advertisements and invoices that "constitute proof of genuine use by the Czech brewery of the earlier trademark."

On store shelves, it is another matter. In France, Budweiser is sold as "Bud," while in Germany it goes by the name "Anheuser-Busch B."

In England, both the Czech and U.S. products share the name "Budweiser." In the United States, the Czech product defers to the host country. Budweiser Budvar in the United States is sold as "Czechvar," the Observer said.

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