EU Rejects A-B Again

A European Union trademarks authority has rejected a request by Anheuser-Busch Cos. to register its Budweiser trademark throughout Europe – a victory for Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar NP in the latest round of its global legal battle with the U.S. beer giant.

An appeals council of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market rejected Anheuser-Busch’s application last week, saying the Czech company has “proven rights … to the international trademark ‘Budweiser,'” according to a statement released by Budvar today.

Anheuser-Busch first applied for the trademark at the EU trademarks authority, based in Alicante, Spain, in 1999 and Budvar objected to the move. The office ruled in Budvar’s favor in 2005 and Anheuser-Busch appealed that decision.

Last week’s ruling is final, but Anheuser-Busch can challenge it with a lawsuit against the trademarks authority at the EU’s Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, Budvar said.

The dispute continues to be fought out in courts throughout Europe. Recently, Anheuser-Busch won a right for the Budweiser brand name in Italy