The General Court of the EU has recently ruled that Anheuser-Busch is entitled to register 'BUD' as a trademark across the EU, 17 years after its first application to do so. All actions in this dispute brought by the Czech rival Budějovický Budvar were dismissed. This is just the latest ruling in a long running legal war lasting more than 100 years.
The EU's General Court was hearing a dispute, relating to a point referred back from the European Court of Jutice, as to whether Budějovický Budvar 's use of 'BUD' was sufficient to stop Anheuser Busch from registering it as a trademark.
Budějovický Budvar argued against the trademark registrations but failed to show that that it had used 'BUD' as an appellation of origin (a sign of location). Insufficient evidence regarding the brand was submitted to the Office for the Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). Evidence for some European countries demonstrated no more than a mere local significance and in some cases represented negligible volumes.
Given the previous amounts of litigation the parties have engaged in it is highly probably this decision will be appealed to the European Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, recent developments in the UK litigation concerning the trademark for 'BUDWEISER' saw the UK Supreme Court rule on 8th January that both of the companies are entitled to use the trademark within that jurisdiction. It would seem that the complex litigation between the parties is far from over.