Budweiser Budvar has won a lawsuit over the BUDWEISER trademark in Portugal

31. 10. 2016 | České Budějovice

Budweiser Budvar has won an important court case over the BUDWEISER trademark in Portugal. The court ruled on the appeal of Anheuser-Busch InBev (hereinafter referred to as ABI) against the refusal of its trademark with the BUDWEISER element, banning the company from selling beer labelled BUDWEISER or with a similar designation and dismissing ABI’s motion to revoke the trademarks owned by Budweiser Budvar.

After 13 years, the Portuguese Court for Intellectual Property (Tribunal da Propriedade Intelectual) upheld in its entirety the action brought by Budweiser Budvar against Anheuser-Busch InBev (hereinafter referred to as ABI) in 2003. At that time, the Czech brewery’s competitor began using the trademark “Ice Draft Beer From Budweiser” illegally in Portugal, although Budweiser Budvar had been selling its “BUDWEISER BUDVAR” beer brand there, having had valid trademarks in this country. Budweiser Budvar had no other choice but to respond to such violations of its rights by filing a suite. The 2014 ruling upheld Budweiser Budvar action; however, ABI appealed against it.

In the appeal proceedings, the Court now confirmed the revocation of ABI’s trademark No. 297.665 “Ice Draft Beer From Budweiser”, further banning ABI from selling beer labelled BUDWEISER or having a designation similar to Budweiser Budvar’s valid trademarks in Portugal. “As far as we are concerned, the most important is the fact that the judgment contains a general prohibition for ABI to use the BUDWEISER designation in selling beer. Portugal is now the second country granting such a ban, with the first country being Italy in 2013,” says Budweiser Budvar's lawyer Helena Votřelová, adding, “At the same time, the court also rejected ABI's proposal to revoke BUDWEISER trademarks owned by Budweiser Budvar.”

ABI has filed an application for appellate review of the newest decision, which has no suspensive effect, though. “The court's decision thus came into force and is enforceable. After many years, this ruling finally gives legal certainty to us and especially to our importer. The guarantee of exclusivity to the BUDWEISER BUDVAR brand is the main prerequisite for the further development of our business activities in Portugal,” concludes Budweiser Budvar’s PR manager Petr Samec.

The legal disputes over the BUDWEISER trademark have been going on since 1907. On the whole, Budweiser Budvar has been more successful in them, having won about 70% of the cases. Between 2000 and 2016, 197 legal disputes and administrative procedures were finalised, out of which 136 ended in favour of Budweiser Budvar and 10 in conciliation or a draw. Owing to the registrations of “BUDWEISER” or “BUDWEISER BUDVAR” trademarks owned by Budweiser Budvar, the transnational concern ABI cannot use its key brand of “BUDWEISER” in nearly 70 countries.

Budweiser Budvar has won an important court case over the BUDWEISER trademark in Portugal. The court ruled on the appeal of Anheuser-Busch InBev (hereinafter referred to as ABI) against the refusal of its trademark with the BUDWEISER element, banning the company from selling beer labelled BUDWEISER or with a similar designation and dismissing ABI’s motion to revoke the trademarks owned by Budweiser Budvar.

 

Media contact

Ing. Petr Samec Dr.

Spokesperson

+420 387 705 284

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