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Anheuser-Busch Loses EU Trademark for Budweiser

The European battle of the Buds continues as a European Union court annulled an EU-wide trademark for Anheuser-Busch's Bud beer, which has been contested by Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar.

A person inspects bottles on a production line in the Budvar brewery

Budvar may have its complaint re-examined

The Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance said in its ruling on Tuesday, Dec. 16, that the bloc's trademark registry, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), made mistakes when rejecting Budvar's complaint against Anheuser-Busch's registration.

Anheuser-Busch, which was taken over by Belgium's InBev earlier this year, can appeal the verdict to the European Court of Justice.

The Czech and the US brewers have waged a worldwide legal battle over Budweiser trademark for more than a century. The disputes have blocked Anheuser-Busch's expansion in Europe.

Budvar is the last Czech beer maker owned by the state and the centre-right government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek initiated steps to sell the brewer, a tricky legal exercise because of the legal disputes.

But the premier said in July that the firm will not be ready for privatization before his government's term is up in 2010.

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