THURSDAY, 3 APRIL 2008
CFI hears Bud arguments
According to a report received from Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg), the Court of First Instance of the European Communities heard arguments on Tuesday in Joined Cases T-225/06, T-255/06, T-257/06, T-309/06 Budejovický Budvar v OHIM, Anheuser-Busch. Budejovicky Budvar maintains that Anheuser-Busch's Europe-wide protection for the word Bud is based on an "unlawful" decision of an OHIM Board of Appeal. Czech brewery Budvar is challenging decisions by OHIM that gave Anheuser-Busch, the world's second-largest brewer, EU-wide rights to use the word Bud for beer and other alcoholic beverages. Budvar maintains that it had earlier rights to Bud in some EU countries and that OHIM was wrong to judge them too weak to block Anheuser-Busch's trade mark.
In June last year Anheuser-Busch won the court's backing for the EU rights to use Bud on merchandise such as T-shirts and beer mats. The current dispute may give Anheuser-Busch the sole right to use Bud on the company's core product.
Budvar, based in Ceske Budejovice (Budweis in German), claims that the EU appellation of origin status, which protects products associated with a geographic region, gave it the right to use the Budweiser name. However, OHIM felt that Budvar failed to show that it used Bud as an appellation of origin "on a scale that is more than strictly local", which is why its rights were insufficient to block Anheuser-Busch's trade mark.
Posted by: Jeremy Phillips @ 06.04
Tags: Bud dispute, CTM,