X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The latest round of the global legal battle between Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar and U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch Ltd. remained unresolved Tuesday after the European Union’s high court passed the trademark case back to judges in Finland. The Finnish case is part of a tussle dating back almost a century and involving dozens of lawsuits around the world for rights to the Budweiser, Bud and Budvar beer labels. Finland’s supreme court sought advice from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg after Anheuser-Busch brought an action in 1996 seeking to prevent the Czech brewer from calling its beers Budweiser, Bud, Budweiser Budvar and a series of other names. While offering some pointers on the details of European trademark law, the Luxembourg court said it was up to the Finns to decide how the rules applied in the case. The EU judges took a similar decision last year, when the battle for Bud in Austria also came before them. Both sides hailed the EU decision, saying it cleared the way for them to win the battle in Finland. Budvar claims it has rights in Finland dating back to the 1960s. Anheuser-Busch points out that a Finnish court ruled that those rights had lapsed, but Budvar says international law protects its earlier rights. The two companies are involved in more than 40 lawsuits fighting over the use of the name, a battle that started in 1906 when Budvar first exported beer to the United States. Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895 in Ceske Budejovice — called Budweis by the German-speaking people that populated the area at the time. Beer has been brewed there since 1265. The founders of Anheuser-Busch used the name Budweiser for their product because it was well-known in their German homeland. The St. Louis brewery got its start in 1852. It began producing Budweiser, America’s first national beer brand, in 1876. In the markets where the Czech brewer is barred from using the German version name of its premium lager, it has sought to sell it under its Czech name Budvar. Since 2001, Budvar has exported to the United States under the name Czechvar. Among recent legal rulings, the Czechs have claimed success in South Korea, Japan, Spain and Lithuania, while Anheuser-Busch cried victory in Nigerian and Hungarian courts. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.