Budvar Wins Lawsuit Against AB InBev in Italy

Italian courts have upheld the right of the Czech brand Budějovický Budvar to use the name Budweiser in the country

Since 1907, a legendary trademark battle has been underway between the original Czech Budějovický Budvar and the American brand that popularized the Budweiser name.

Budweiser, the US brand now owned by global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, was named after the style of beer brewed in the Czech town of České Budějovice (Budweis in German). The US brand dates back to 1876.

Budějovický Budvar was officially founded by the Czech state in 1896, but the history of brewing beer in České Budějovice dates back to the 13th century.

In the late 19th century, Budweiser won trademark disputes in the US to earn the right to use the name in the country.

For the next hundred-plus years, however, international trademark disputes have led to a never-ending battle, leading to hundreds of lawsuits filed in countries across the globe.

Yesterday, Budějovický Budvar successfully defended its trademark dispute in Italian courts against both Anheuser-Busch InBev and Italian importer Birra Peroni Industriale for the right to use the term Budweiser, writes Hospodářské noviny. 

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The verdict upholds a decision by the Italian Supreme Court in 2013.

In the past 16 years alone, there have been nearly 200 lawsuits between the companies, with the Czech brand winning the majority of them.

“In the years 2000-2016, 197 lawsuits and administrative proceedings were concluded,” a Budvar brewery spokesman noted.

“Budějovický Budvar has won 136 of those cases, and 10 disputes ended in a compromise.” 

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