Czech brewer wins latest round in battle of the Budweisers

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The Independent Online

One is an all-American lager, known for its blockbusting advertising; the other, a Czech brew that while perhaps not as famous, is more of a favourite with beer aficionados. Today it emerged that British drinkers will continue to be able to choose between the two rather different Budweisers, after the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, lost its latest attempt to take control of the trademark.

In the most recent round of a dispute that has lasted for more than 100 years, the Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar announced that the UK Supreme Court had rejected a request by AB InBev to overturn a ruling made last year against the American company. As a result, the companies can both use the Budweiser trademark in the UK, with state-owned Budvar claiming the decision is final.

"This attempt to change the final decision of the court proves the long-term strong interest by [AB InBev] to gain exclusive rights for the Budweiser brand at any cost," Budvar's chief executive, Jiri Bocek, said.

A spokesman for AB Inbev, whose brands also include Stella Artois and Becks, said it was "disappointed that the UK Supreme Court decided not to hear our appeal".

Elsewhere in the world, there are 11 court cases ongoing between the two brewers across eight countries. In the US the two have struck a deal that sees Budvar market its brew as Czechvar.