Budweiser Budvar, N.C. has definitively won a dispute over the registration of the Budweiser Budvar trademark (No. 19935911) - label - in Norway after 21 years. The brewery applied for this trademark on 2.12.1993, one of the reasons for the application being the need to update the already registered Budweiser Budvar trademark of 1971. The Anheuser-Busch InBev company (hereinafter referred to as “ABI”) filed an objection against the application. The first ruling in this matter came in December 2011 when the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (Patentstyret) dismissed ABI’s objections and allowed the registration of the Budweiser Budvar label. ABI appealed against this decision.
“In October, the Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights (Klagenemnda for industrielle rettigheter) definitively dismissed ABI’s appeal, thus enabling the registration of Budweiser Budvar’s application. In its decision, the Board refused ABI’s argumentation about ‘Budweiser Budvar’s bad faith when filing applications for trademarks’ and to the contrary pointed out that Budweiser Budvar has been using the designation at issue for a long time, and that the Board had found nothing objectionable in its conduct,” says Lukáš Lorenc, the associate to the solicitor's office Čermák a spol., which legally represented Budweiser Budvar in the dispute.
There are no remedial measures against the Board of Appeal’s decision. Budweiser Budvar thus defended its trademark positions and may continue selling its beer under the Budweiser Budvar trademark in Norway. "After 21 long years, we have now gained the legal certainty which will contribute to the development of our business activities in Norway. Furthermore, the decision provides us with important argumentation that can also be used in trademark disputes in other countries,” adds Budweiser Budvar’s lawyer Veronika Sporová.
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 2013, 184 legal disputes and administrative procedures were finalised, out of which 125 ended in favour of Budweiser Budvar and 10 in conciliation or inconclusively. 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.