After 11 years, the Lisbon Commercial Court (Tribunal do Comércio de Lisboa) accepted in full the charges brought by Budějovický Budvar against Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as ABI) in 2003. At that time, the Czech brewery’s rival began to illegally use trademarks with the BUDWEISER element when selling its beer in Portugal, in spite of the fact that Budějovický Budvar had been selling its beer under the BUDWEISER BUDVAR brand there, using its registered trademarks. The brewery had to act in response to such violation of its rights by bringing charges. ABI has been greatly interested in the Portuguese market in the long term, which was evinced e.g. by its 2001 attempt to register four trademarks with the BUDWEISER element in Portugal. Such intents were finally put an end to by a judgement in another lawsuit last December, when Budějovický Budvar was fully supported, and ABI was prevented from registering these trademarks (for details see the press release of 11. 12. 2013).
“Budějovický Budvar has now defended the exclusivity of its BUDWEISER trademarks. The court cancelled ABI’s trademark No. 297.665 ‘Cold Filtered Ice Draft Beer From Budweiser’, banning ABI from selling beer labelled BUDWEISER, or with any designations similar to Budějovický Budvar’s valid trademarks, in Portugal,” says Lukáš Lorenc, the associate of the “Čermák a spol.” solicitor's office, which has been acting for Budějovický Budvar in the dispute. “At the same time, the court dismissed ABI’s petition to cancel BUDWEISER trademarks owned by Budějovický Budvar,”adds Mr. Lorenc.
“We have been exporting our beer under the BUDWEISER BUDVAR brand to Portugal. After so many years, this judgement finally gives us legal certainty and guarantees the exclusivity of our brand, as well as prospects for future growth of our business in this country,” adds Budweiser Budvar’s PR manager Petr Samec
The legal disputes over the BUDWEISER trademark have been going on since 1907. On the whole, Budějovický Budvar has been more successful in them, having won about 70% of the cases. Between 2000 and 2012, 173 legal disputes and administrative procedures were finalised, 120 out of which ended in favour of Budweiser Budvar and 10 in conciliation or a draw. Owing to the registrations of “BUDWEISER” or “BUDWEISER BUDVAR” trademarks that are owned by Budějovický Budvar, the transnational concern ABI cannot use its key brand of “BUDWEISER” in nearly 70 countries.