EU Win for Budvar

The European Union’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) has ruled in favor of the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar (BB), allowing it to register its Budejovicky Budvar name as a European Community trademark, according to BB’s press department. An appeal that had been filed by U.S. brewing giant Anheuser-Busch was rejected; the American brewer was attempting to keep BB from registering the Budejovicky Budvar name within the EU on the grounds that it could be confused with its Bud trademark. But the Czech Republic (CR) is scheduled to join the EU soon, and the CR’s accession treaty with the EU protects the expressions “Budejovicke pivo” and “Ceskobudejovicke pivo.” Protection by the place of origin is guaranteed only for those products that are well known internationally through their long tradition and continuous level of top quality, says BB, which currently has about 380 trademarks registered in over 100 countries around the world, and is currently involved in more than 40 lawsuits and 40 other administrative proceedings at patent offices involving the trademark dispute with AB.