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European Court: Budweiser Beers Can Coexist

Thu, 09/22/2011 - 5:05am

LUXEMBOURG (AP) -- "There's only one Budweiser beer," according to the Anheuser-Busch advertising jingle. But that's not the case in Britain, as an EU court ruled Thursday that Anheuser-Busch and the Czech brewer Budvar can both continue to use the Budweiser trademark.

British beer drinkers are well used to there being two Buds. The Czech company introduced its beer in the U.K. in 1973, and the American brewer a year later. In 2000, both were granted the right to use the trademark.

In 2005, Anheuser-Busch applied to the United Kingdom Trade Marks Registry to have the Czech beer's trademark declared invalid. But the American brewer lost in the British courts, and on Thursday it lost at the EU's Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The court ruled that British beer drinkers were well aware of the difference and, in any event, both companies had used the name in good faith for nearly 30 years -- and could continue to do so.

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