Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Budweiser loses right to Bud name

A bottle of Bud Light
Anheuser will have to rely on trademark laws in individual states

A European Union court has decided that Budweiser-brewer Anheuser-Busch should not have rights to the "Bud" brand throughout the 27 nation bloc.

It is a victory for the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, which said it had registered the name in France, Austria and former Czechoslovakia in 1958.

Anheuser will now have to rely on registering its trademark in each individual member state.

It said it already had trademark protection in 23 of the EU states.

It is the latest stage of a long-running trademark dispute between the two brewers.

Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895 in Ceske Budejovice, which was known as Budweis by its German-speaking inhabitants. Beer had been brewed there since 1265.

Budweiser was first produced in St Louis in 1852 and was America's first national beer brand. The name was taken because it was familiar to the German founders of the company.

Confusingly, an EU court last year ruled in favour of Anheuser-Busch on a dispute involving the "Budweiser" name.

Anheuser-Busch is now owned by the Belgian brewer InBev.

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