May 19, 2006

By Brad Stohry

The Swedish Supreme Court recently refused to hear an appeal requested by Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar regarding a lower court’s ruling that granted Anheuser-Busch exclusive trademark rights in the BUDWEISER mark in Sweden. The lower court ordered the Czech beer maker to stop using "Budweiser Budvar" on its labels and advertising. The Swedish decision is simply the latest battle in the BUDWEISER turf war between Anheuser-Busch and Budejovicky Budvar. These two companies have been fighting over the rights to the BUDWEISER mark for over a century. Anheuser-Busch adopted the BUDWEISER mark in 1876. Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895; however, it claims that BUDWEISER refers to beer brewed in the Budweis region of the Czech Republic, where beer has been brewed since at least the 14th Century. Anheuser-Busch has registered the BUDWEISER mark in most of the world and has blocked Budejovicky Budvar from using the BUDWEISER mark in many locales. However, the Czech brewer has won a few battles. For example, both companies are allowed to make use of the BUDWEISER mark in some countries and in others Budejovicky Budvar's product is the only beer that can be marketed as BUDWEISER.

History of the dispute: LINK
AP Article: LINK
Budejovicky Budvar’s Website: LINK
Anheuser-Busch's Website: LINK
U.S. Registration for Budweiser: LINK

Brad Stohry is an attorney with Ice Miller focusing his efforts on trademark prosecution and intellectual property licensing.

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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