AB Inbev denied in Bud case

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The Independent Online

Anheuser-Busch has lost a long-running battle to prevent a small Czech brewery from using the trademark Budweiser in the UK.

The European Court of Justice yesterday ruled in favour of Budejovicky Budvar. It said in a court statement: "United Kingdom consumers are well aware of the difference between Budvar's beers and those of Anheuser-Busch, since their tastes, prices and get-ups have always been different."

In the UK, the courts ruled in 2000 that both companies could register the name Budweiser but five years later Anheuser-Busch – now part of AB InBev – applied to have its rival's use of the name declared invalid. The case passed to Europe, which yesterday declared that two beers with the same trademark was unlikely to have an adverse affect on AB InBev's sales.