Most Americans may not realize that if you walk into a bar in Europe and order a ‘Bud’, you might not get the American beer you’re used to. You may end up with a Budweiser Budvar or even a Bud Premier Select, but it’s coming from Budejovicky Budvar, a Czech absed beer company. Of course you could also end up with the American beer you expected in the first place. Sound confusing? In fact the two companies have been battling it out for over a century on who owns the right to use the trademark ‘Bud’ in Europe and the rest of the world.
This past Tuesday, the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg gave Anheuser-Busch InBev a major victory by giving the American beer company the right to use the Budweiser name and ‘Bud’ trademark in the EU. Budejovicky Budvar has already vowed to appeal the ruling and argues that only beer brewed in the Czech town of Ceske Budejovice (formally known as Budweis) should be able to use the name.
Anheuser-Busch InBev should enjoy this victory as long as it can before the next round of legal challenges with Budvar begin. From 2000 to 2011, Budvar won 88 of its 124 disputes, so they know how to challenge the law. Until then, enjoy knowing that bars in Germany and the rest of Europe should give you the right beer when you ask for a ‘Bud’, unless you were expecting the Budvar ‘Bud’.