(CN) – Anheuser-Busch cannot trademark “Budweiser” beer in the European market due to previous trademark by a Czech company, Europe’s second-highest court ruled.
The U.S. brewer challenged a 1996 decision by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), which recognized a trademark for the name’s use in Germany and Austria by a brewer in the Czech Republic named Budejovicky Budvar.
Budvar presented the Court of First Instance with advertisements and invoices from the previous five years noting its use of the Budweiser name in Europe.
“Those advertisements and invoices constitute proof of genuine use by the Czech brewery of the earlier trademark,” the court ruled.
The court also ruled that Anheuser-Busch is not allowed to market a non-alcoholic version of Budweiser in Europe to avoid market confusion.