Europe: AB InBev Budweiser trademark rejected

25 March, 2009

AB InBev has again failed to achieve a European Union community trademark for beer brand Budweiser.

AB InBev has again failed to achieve a European Union community trademark for beer brand Budweiser.

The request was opposed by Czech-based brewer Budvar, which is based in the town of České Budějovice, or Budweis.

European court, the Court of First Instance upheld a previous ruling that was delivered by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).

A community trademark gives the owner uniform rights across all EU member states, rather than on separate, national levels.  

A spokesperson for AB InBev said: “The decision by the Court of First Instance has no effect on Anheuser-Busch InBev's existing, extensive Budweiser trademark rights throughout the European Union or the rest of the world. In filing this community trademark application, this was merely an effort to further extend our Budweiser rights and gain additional protections. All of our Budweiser and Bud rights remain; none are cancelled by this action.
“The Court of First Instance's ruling does not impact our plans for development of Budweiser as a global brand.
“Anheuser-Busch InBev owns the right to the Budweiser or Bud trademarks in 23 of the 27 European Union member states.

Tony Jennings, CEO Budvar UK said: “I always get the impression from AB Inbev that the progress of the Budweiser brand cannot be inhibited by any Court decision- which leads one to question why they bother with litigation at all – especially as the record shows we at Budvar nearly always win, as we have once again on this occasion.

“Whilst hardly being surprised by the Court’s decision we are of course delighted. Also between us we are helping to sustain employment, if only in the legal profession, which must be regarded as a laudable cause in these difficult times.”

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