Anheuser-Busch Loses Battle over 'Bud'

Monday, Feb. 17, 2003

LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. maker of Budweiser and Bud Light beers lost a long-running legal battle in Britain on Monday to block a rival Czech brewer using the trademark "Bud."

A ruling by the House of Lords, Britain's highest court, stopped a last ditch attempt by the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, to revoke Czech state-owned Budejovicky Budvar's ownership of "Bud" in Britain.

Britain is Anheuser-Busch's second largest market.

The three law lords gave no reason for not allowing legal proceedings to continue in their written ruling, which prevents further action by Anheuser-Busch on the issue in British courts.

Anheuser-Busch had wanted to appeal prior decisions against it, saying Budvar had failed to use the "Bud" trademark. The U.S. company was not immediately available for comment on the ruling.

The drinks giant has successfully prevented Budvar, which exports a large part of its production, from using or registering the name Budweiser in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand and Spain.

The whole issue arose because the Czech city of Ceske Budejovice, where Budvar is located, is known as Budweis in German and claims to be the original place of brewing for Budweiser.

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