Friday, March 27th, 2009
WSJ:Anheuser-Busch registered the Budweiser name with the European Commission in 1996. Budvar successfully challenged the registration, and won the case when AB InBev appealed to a board that oversees decisions of the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market, the parent body of the trademark office.
The Court of First Instance ruled Wednesday that AB InBev couldn’t register the name because it was already being used by Budvar, which submitted copies of ads in German and Austrian magazines for its Budweiser beer from the mid 1990s.
Under European law, AB InBev will have to pay Budvar’s legal costs. A Budvar spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.
Budvar began producing Budweiser beer in 1895 in the Czech town of Ceske Budejovice, although the company says the name was used in the region for a long time before that. Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch created their Budweiser brand in 1875 in St. Louis. The companies have been fighting in courts around the world since the 1950s.