Budvar chalks up another victory against Anheuser-Busch


In Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik v Anheuser-Busch Inc (Case 891/2003), Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar (BB) has registered another victory - this time in Romania - against US brewer Anheuser-Busch. The Examination Committee of the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks refused Anheuser's trademark application to register the words 'American Bud' on the grounds that BB already has international trademark rights in BUD.

In September 2001 Anheuser applied to register 'American Bud' for beer in Class 32 of the Nice Classification. BB opposed the registration on the grounds that it has international trademark rights in BUD for "all types of dark and blonde beer".

The Examination Committee accepted BB's opposition, holding that:

"Anheuser failed to demonstrate [...] that its sign 'American Bud' would not cause considerable confusion among the public, not only with respect to the product but also with respect to the manufacturer."

The committee noted that the word 'American', although indicating US origin, is not strong enough to differentiate Anheuser's sign from BB's registered mark.

Anheuser may yet appeal.

For discussion of BB's victory against Anheuser in the UK courts, see Anheuser-Busch fails to revoke Budvar trademarks. For discussion of BB's partial defeat in the New Zealand courts, see Anheuser-Busch wins Budweiser dispute on appeal.

Alexandru A Harsany, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Bucharest

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