Bavaria OK’s ‘Bavarian

Bavarian Brewers Federation approves brewery’s use of ‘Bavarian’

The European Court of Justice ruled last week that the Dutch brewery Bavaria NV can continue to use its company name trademark.

The Bavarian Brewers Federation had tried to prevent the firm from using the “Bavaria” label under the EU’s protected designation of origin (PDO) system, which allows only food or drink producers from the territory in question to use the name.

The ECJ in Luxembourg judged that Bavarian beer was only protected by EU rules from 2001, when Bavarian beer was recognized under the PDO system. The Dutch company’s 1995 trademark therefore took priority.

Bavaria NV described itself as “delighted with the ruling” in a statement. “This implies that Bavaria can still sell [its] beer in Germany.”

The company used the label “Bavaria” as early as 1925 and registered the trademark in Germany in April 1995.