Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) attempt to register the Budweiser trademark in Portugal has been blocked by a local court on the grounds that the name is already in use by another company.
The company holding the rights to the mark is Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP, which said in a press statement that a Lisbon-based appeals court has upheld the decision barring its rival from registering its beer under the Budweiser brand in Portugal. The court ruled that AB InBev’s Budweiser trademark could be easily mistaken for those already in use in Portugal by its competitor.
The trademark battle between the two companies has been going on for more than a century in various markets. Budvar has been fighting with Anheuser-Busch over rights to the trademark since 1907 and the wrangle continued when the U.S. brewing company was bought by Belgian InBev in 2008.
The Czech company said in its press statement that it has won about 70% of the lawsuits related to the Budweiser name, noting that from 2000-2013, various courts ruled in favor of Budvar in 125 of a total of 184 cases. We’ve written about two past victories for AB InBev in Argentina and the European Union.
Karen Couck, a spokesperson for AB InBev, said that the court ruling will have no impact on the products it sells under the BUD brand in Portugal.
Budvar claims that the ruling is final, although press attempts to reach the Lisbon court for confirmation were unsuccessful.