Budweiser Budvar Brewery turned away another attack against its BUDWEISER trademark. In 2001, the Anheuser-Busch InBev company (hereinafter referred to as ABI) tried to register its four trademarks with the BUDWEISER element in Portugal in spite of the fact that Budweiser Budvar Brewery owned several BUDWEISER trademarks in this country at the time. The Czech brewery therefore successfully contested its competitor’s intents at the Portuguese Trademark Office. In 2003, the office refused to register ABI’s trademarks; however ABI appealed against the decision to the Commercial Court.
“The Lisbon Commercial Court dismissed ABI’s appeal, fully supporting Budweiser Budvar with its judgement,” says Budweiser Budvar’s PR manager Petr Samec. “After considering all the evidence and circumstances, the court came to the conclusion that Budweiser Budvar owns several registrations with the BUDWEISER element, which are older than ABI’s trademarks and could be confused with them. Therefore the registration of new trademarks for ABI in Portugal is not possible,” explains Lukáš Lorenc, the associate of the “Čermák a spol” solicitor's office, which has been acting for Budweiser Budvar in the dispute. “We maintained our trademark position and prevented ABI from entering the Portuguese market. We anticipate increasing our export to this country in the future,” adds 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 2012, 173 legal disputes and administrative procedures were finalised, out of which 120 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 Budweiser Budvar, the transnational concern ABI cannot use its key brand of “BUDWEISER” in nearly 70 countries.