Budweiser Banned in Italy; Czech Budvar Wins Court Battle vs. AB InBev

New Czech Bud Beer
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By KAREL JANICEK

PRAGUE -- The state-owned Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP said on Tuesday an Italian court has banned its bitter rival, beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), from using the Budweiser trademark in that country, the latest ruling in their long legal battle over the brand name.

At the same time, Budvar said the Supreme Court allowed the Czech brewer to return to the Italian market with its Budweiser Budvar lager. Budvar director Jiri Bocek called it "a great victory."

Bocek said the court declared AB InBev's use of the Budweiser trademark deceptive and removed it from the trademark register.

"Therefore our competitor must stop selling Budweiser beer in Italy," he said, adding that the verdicts are final.

AB InBev said it planned to comment later in the day Tuesday.

Budvar's Italian lawyer Stefano de Bosio said the verdict may be a precedent for other trademark disputes because it ruled that traditional names are entitled to the same protection as current official names.

Founded in 1895 in the city of Ceske Budejovice -- called Budweis at the time -- Budvar argues that only beer brewed in its part of the Czech Republic can be called Budweiser.

Budvar said it hoped the ruling will help it boost sales in Italy which dropped in 2002 by about half after it was forced due to Anheuser-Busch's legal action to sell its beer under the name of Czechvar and later Budejovicky Budvar. In 2001, Italy was the fifth biggest market for Budvar.

Budvar has been fighting with Anheuser-Busch for over a century over use of the Budweiser brand.

The legal battle was not affected when Anheuser-Busch was taken over by Belgian brewer InBev in 2008.


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116 Comments

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stevebewley

Since Bud isn't an American beer anymore (remember they sold out to the Belgians) who cares if they can or can't sell in Italy.

October 09 2013 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mpaul8883

I did business with Budweiser in the late 80's and the executives were some of the most arrogant people I have ever dealt with. Nice legacy young Augie left for his ancestors, having to sell the company. Nice move Augie. You deserved it.

October 08 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
criterion29

if i remember correctly in 1989 budwiser wanted to buy budvar and offered mega bucks ,,,, but i think they said fu buddy.......

October 08 2013 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave Sandler

I'm glad for the Czechs, the name of their product was stolen and marketed here with an inferior product. Don't get me wrong, I always liked regular Bud (esp. on a hot day) but Czech and Belgian beers are the real thing, just like pizza in Italy is real, not the fake stuff marketed here. It's just culture and marketing. Go there, travel in Europe. Is Hershey's comparable to Swiss or Belgian chocolate? On the other hand, living on the West Coast for 47 years I got to sample many small "craft" beers, which arose from a revolt against the bland national brands, just as organic food was a revolt against McGrease and The Colonel.

October 08 2013 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dave Sandler's comment
RivrWlker

I'm definitely not a beer coniseur (sp?), but don't tell me Hershey's doesn't make as good a chocolate as the Swiss or the Belgians. Nonsense! It's a matter of individual taste bud preferences, and mostly so is beer. Don't be such a snob....course, I'll take most CA wines over anything the French have ever brewed, but again, it's taste buds more than anything else.

October 08 2013 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RivrWlker's comment
Giovanni Caffarella

Well, for some traditionalists, creating chocolate in the Belgian or Swiss way is a form of their culture. While I do enjoy traditional aspects of coffee,beer, wine, and the like, I am open minded to it all.

October 14 2013 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
Stephen

I suppose you can't ride a big horse in Italy either.....

October 08 2013 at 10:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stephen's comment
RivrWlker

That's funny as hell!

October 08 2013 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
whatsit2yadudes

Free market economy. Buck up, Italy. THIS Bud's for...YOU!!!!

L M A O...

October 08 2013 at 10:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
WILD BILL

sorry for the double.

October 08 2013 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steves1709

They still brew American Budweiser?? Who drinks that crap?

October 08 2013 at 10:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
WILD BILL

Well I guess I`ll just keep buying my American brewed Bud at the local Chinamart.

October 08 2013 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will Stransky

Sorry Farns, but the original Budweiser from Budweis/Budjevice ,Czechoslovkia is really superb beer. It is currently marketed as Budvar in No. America-- another long story. Find it in higher end retailers everywhere.
.

October 08 2013 at 10:03 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply