„Despite the fact that the ruling will have no direct impact on our legal disputes in other countries, it is of key importance, as it could be a precedent during court rulings in similar cases in the whole of European Union in the future,” adds Helena Lejtnarová.
This dispute originated in 2005, when ABI company brought a legal action in order to cancel the “Budweiser“ trademark registered by Budweiser Budvar Brewery. The “Budweiser“ trademark was, however, registered by both companies in Britain and both companies have been using it for many years in beer sales. Yet, British customers can distinguish clearly between the two competitive products.
Following Germany, the United Kingdom represents the second key export territory for Budweiser Budvar Premium Lager. About 13% of the brewery’s total export heads for Britain, which is approximately 80,000 hectolitres a year. Considering the high export volume, there is a subsidiary in Britain 100 % owned by Budweiser Budvar Brewery.
“Budweiser” trademark disputes have been in progress since 1907, i.e. more than 100 years. In the last years, Budweiser Budvar has been particularly successful in them. In 2000 – 2010, 120 legal disputes and administrative procedures have been finalised, 85 of which ending in favour of Budweiser Budvar and 8 resulting in a conciliation or a draw.