EU court gives Bud beer name to AB InBev over Budejovicky Budvar

Budejovicky Budvar's version of Budweiser. A European Union court awarded competitor Anheuser-Busch InBev the right to trademark the name "Bud" in Europe.
(Budejovicky Budvar)

Anheuser-Busch InBev can trademark the name “Bud” for its beers in Europe over the objections of Czech company Budejovicky Budvar, which makes brews that it calls Budweiser Budvar and Bud Premier Select.

The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg said in a statement Tuesday that it “dismisses the actions brought by Budejovicky Budvar against the registration of the Community trade mark ‘BUD’ for beer applied for by Anheuser-Busch.”

Budejovicky Budvar says that it holds 380 trademarks registered in 101 countries, the best known of which include Budweiser, Budvar, Budweiser Budvar and Bud. The company says its use of the names is “closely linked” to the place where it says its beers originated — the town of Ceske Budejovice, formerly known as Budiwoyz or Budweis.

Global disputes over the Budweiser and Bud names have been ongoing for more than a century, since 1907, according to Budejovicky Budvar. The company said that 124 court cases and administrative procedures over the issue were finalized between 2000 and 2011.


“The coexistence of the trademarks in any country must be considered a serious and everlasting threat for our intellectual property and thus for our survival in the long term as well,” said Budweiser Budvar Chief Executive Jiri Bocek in a statement this month.


Beer shipments fall in 2011 to lowest level since 2003

Beer brewers revise playbooks to win back lost customers

A brewery a day: Beer-maker growth rate fastest since Prohibition