US brewer Anheuser-Busch has won the latest round in the legal fight over the Budweiser trademarks. A top EU court ruled for Anheuser-Busch and against Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar on the use of the name in the 27 European Union countries.
The case focused on the trademarks use for products other than beer including things like T-shirts and barbecue sauces.
This is a David and Goliath battle. The US Budweiser produced 140 million hectolitres of beer last year with sales of 13 billion euros. The Czech company’s production was 1.15 million hectolitres and its sales totalled 340 million euros.
The dispute between them goes back for decades and there have been many court battles between the two over use of the Budweiser name.
The Czechs – who started their brewery in 1895 – say Budweiser comes from Budweis, which for centuries was the name of the town where they are based. But the Anheuser-Busch family’s claim to the name goes back even further. They started making a Budweiser beer in 1876 with a name that was well known in their German homeland.