European Court Caps Budweiser Name Battle

     (CN) – Europe’s high court has capped off a beer trademark case by ruling that Anheuser-Busch cannot trademark “Budweiser” beer in Europe.

     Anheuser-Busch applied to use the Budweiser trademark in the European Union in 1996. The office in charge of such registrations rejected Anheuser-Busch’s application.
     Europe’s second-highest court last year agreed, ruling that the Czech Brewery Budejovicky Budvar, due to its history with the Budweiser mark, should have dibs on use of the name, especially in Germany and Austria.
     On appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Anheuser-Busch argued that Budvar should have submitted evidence of its renewal of the Budweiser mark at an earlier stage in the case.
     The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice rejected this argument, adding that any new rules relating to production of evidence cannot be applied retroactively.
     The court dismissed the case. Since the Court of Justice acts as the EU’s supreme legal venue, this likely signals an end to Anheuser-Busch’s European battle for the Budweiser name.
     The battle between Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar over the “Bud” mark is still pending.

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