Court of Appeal allows Budvar to continue using Budweiser name

03 July 2012 by
Court of Appeal allows Budvar to continue using Budweiser name

Czech brewer Budvar can continue to use the Budweiser brand name in the UK, following the latest chapter in a long-running dispute with American giant Anheuser-Busch (maker of US Budweiser beer).

The Court of Appeal this morning ruled against its latest attempt to stop Czech rival Budějovický Budvar using the Budweiser name.

Both companies were given permission by the Court of Appeal to simultaneously register the "Budweiser" trade mark in 2000, given their long-standing history of honest co-existence in the UK market.

However, in 2005, Anheuser-Busch started legal action to invalidate Budvar's "Budweiser" mark on the grounds that their application for the registration of the mark in the UK (1976) predates Budvar's application (1989).

The Court of Appeal sought clarification from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which in September last year ruled in Budvar's favour, and this morning the Court of Appeal has given its judgment, all but guaranteeing Budvar's right to maintain its "Budweiser" trade mark registration in the UK.

Mark Blair, partner at Marks & Clerk Solicitors, who acted for the Czech brewers Budějovický Budvar, said: "We are delighted with this decision, confirming what in our opinion is obvious, following the favourable ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in September last year - that as a result of the decades-long honest use of the mark Budweiser by both Budvar and Anheuser-Busch in the UK, both parties should be entitled to a trade mark registration. Today's judgment allows the trade mark register to reflect the reality of the situation in the marketplace - that both brands co-exist and have done so for many years.

"Today's judgment is confirmation of Budvar's right to the ‘Budweiser' name in the UK. It is a further example of how trade mark law must be interpreted within its commercial context; that even in cases of so-called ‘double identity' - where the same mark is used in respect of the same goods - it is still necessary to demonstrate an adverse effect on the ability of the trade mark to function as an indication of origin."

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

Blogs on ]( Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters]([ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking