The General Court of the European Union ruled in favor of Anheuser-Busch InBev in a long battle with Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar over EU trademark rights for “Bud.” The Czech company’s beer is marketed as “Budvar” in some places with the word “Budweiser” in smaller print, and in other locations as “Bud,” with the words “original Czech.” Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser beer was first introduced in the U.S in 1876.
Budejovicky Budvar had challenged Anheuser-Busch’s use of “Bud,” claiming the term was protected in several European nations since 1975. In its dismissal of Budvar’s action, the General Court held that the company had failed to sufficiently show that it had used the word “Bud” for its products before Anheuser-Busch’s 1996 trademark application.
An Anheuser-Busch statement said: “We are extremely pleased to have confirmed our right to a Bud trademark registration valid throughout the entire European Union … This ruling is majorly important in that it will expand our already strong global protections for Bud and Budweiser.”
Back in 2011, we wrote about a similar legal fight between Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar over trademark rights to “Bud” in Argentina.