Budweiser Budvar welcomes today’s standpoint of the Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Community
Today’s standpoint is very favorable for Budweiser Budvar increasing the brewery’s chances in further continuation of the dispute, since the Advocate General has supported Budweiser Budvar’s legal opinion that the legal dispute concerning the Budweiser trademark within the territory of the UK should carry on without applying the EU directives (specifically Article 4(1)(a) of First Council Directive 89/104/EEC), which Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI) legal action was based on. “If the Court of Justice of the European Community bases its preliminary ruling on the standpoint of the Advocate General Verica Trstenjak, the legal action of our competitor may lose its main legal argument that it has been built on,” says Budweiser Budvar’s PR manager Petr Samec. The standpoint furthermore contains an opinion that the case such as that must be decided in accordance with the national law of Great Britain and additionally, it explains the controversial concept of “acquiescence” in a way that enables Budweiser Budvar to effectively defend its trademark rights from ABI’s claims in the United Kingdom.
The dispute in Britain began in 2005, when ABI applied to the Patent Office for a declaration of invalidity of the ‘Budweiser’ trademark registered for Budweiser Budvar. The ‘Budweiser’ trademark is registered in Britain for both companies and they have been using it for selling beer. Nonetheless British customers are able to clearly distinguish between both competition products.