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30 July 2010

ECJ Finds for Czech Bud in the Latest Battle of the Budweisers

ECJ Finds for Czech Bud in the Latest Battle of the Budweisers

Case C-214/09 P Anheuser-Busch Inc v OHIM

The ECJ have just issued their ruling in connection with the above case, upholding the decision of the Court of First Instance (General Court) that Anheuser-Busch (now AB Inbev) should be prevented from registering the word BUDWEISER as a Community trade mark for beer, ale, porter, malted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in class 32. The application was successfully opposed by Budvar on the basis of earlier international word marks for BUDWEISER registered for beer of any kind in four member states of the EU, and further international figurative trade marks containing the words 'Budweiser Budvar' together with a number of appellations of origin all of which included the word 'Budweiser'.

The ECJ agreed that Budvar had adequately evidenced use of their earlier rights in at least Germany and Austria and such was sufficient on which to base the successful opposition.

The battle is sure to continue however, with no overall clear winner. AB Inbev still holds the trade mark rights for the words BUD or BUDWEISER in 23 of the 27 EU countries, and the decision to refuse registration of a Community trade mark has no bearing on the standing of these EU national rights.


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