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EU Court: UK Law Applies In Anheuser-Busch Trademark Case

British law will apply in judging the validity of an eleventh-hour challenge by brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV  to rival Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar's right to use the name "Budweiser" to brand its beer in the U.K., according to a legal opinion produced for Europe's highest court Thursday.
The challenge was made on the final day before five-year legal time limit.
Both companies registered their identical Budweiser brand names as trademarks before the 1991 entry into force of a European law on the issue, so U.K. law should apply, the opinion prepared by an adviser for the European Court of Justice said.
Legal opinions are presented months in advance of the final ruling in a European Court of Justice case, reviewing evidence and proposing a judicial outcome. The judges hearing the case aren't bound to follow the opinion, though they often do.
3 Feb. 2011

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