Sun, Jul 17, 2005 - Page 11 News List

US firm wins latest round in Budweiser brand battle

AP , ST. LOUIS

In a drawn-out dispute over the Budweiser beer name, the latest victory has gone to US company Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc.

A Hungarian court has ruled in favor of the US brewer, ordering cancellation for Czech beer-maker Budejovicky Budvar's "Bud," "Budweiser Budvar" and "Budweiser Bier-Budvar" appellation of origin registrations in Hungary.

The court concluded the term "Bud" was not a reference to the city -- Ceske Budejovice -- where Budejovicky Budvar is based, Anheuser-Busch said on Friday.

"This is another significant court decision for Anheuser-Busch and reinforces our commitment to protect our famous trademarks throughout the world," Stephen Burrows, president and chief executive of Anheuser-Busch International Inc, said in a statement.

Budvar, through its spokesman Petr Samec, declined to comment on the ruling until the Czech company officially receives the verdict.

The two breweries have been battling over Budweiser and other trade names since 1906, and are still involved in about 40 lawsuits worldwide.

The two breweries have been battling over Budweiser and other trade names since 1906, and are still involved in about 40 lawsuits worldwide.

Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser is the world's biggest-selling full-calorie beer, and its Bud Light is the world's top light beer.

The Budweiser name was chosen because it was well-known in the German homeland of the Busch family.

The brewery got its start in 1852. Anheuser-Busch claims it was using the Budweiser name in 1876 -- 19 years before Budejovicky Budvar came into existence.

Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895. Its hometown, Ceske Budejovice, is called Budweis by the German-speaking people who populated the area at the time.

Beer has been brewed there since 1265.

Courts around Europe and Asia have gone back and forth -- some ruling for the US brewer, others for the Czech.

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