Anheuser-Busch InBev believes that its trademark victory against Budejovick? Budvar in Austria sets a precedent for rulings in other countries.
A court in Vienna has officially eliminated a 12-year-old injunction against A-B InBev using the term ‘American Bud’ to describe its beers in the country. It means that the US Budweiser brewer has won the latest round of its long-running trademark battle with Czech brewer Budejovick? Budvar, which also brews beer named Budweiser.
“We are very pleased with the decisions of both the Austrian Supreme Court and the Vienna trial court,” said a spokesperson for A-B InBev today (27 October). “Not only do these positive rulings set a favorable precedent, they also open up the Austrian market to A-B InBev’s use of the Bud trademark in Austria.”
It is two years since the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Budejovicky Budvar does not have an exclusive rights to the name “Bud” in Austria. The Court rejected Budvar’s defence that a 1976 trade agreement between Austria and Czechoslovakia enshrined its exclusive right to the term ‘Bud’.
Earlier this year, and in a separate case, the ECJ continued in the same vein by saying that the EU General Court was wrong when, in 2008, it blocked A-B InBev from securing trademark rights on ‘Bud’ in all 27 EU member states.