Anheuser-Busch InBev loses Budweiser name case

Budweiser bottles
Image caption The battle over the Budweiser brand has been raging since 1996.

Global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev has suffered a defeat in a long-running battle over the rights to the Budweiser beer brand.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that AB InBev cannot have exclusive European rights to the Budweiser name.

The ruling comes 14 years after its initial application to register the name as an EU trademark was blocked by Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar.

Budvar also uses the Budweiser name in several European markets.

The ruling, which agreed with an earlier decision by the European General Court, means that Budvar retains exclusive rights to the Budweiser name in Germany.

Most other European countries, including the UK, allow both companies to use the name.

Anheuser Busch, which was bought by InBev in 2008, first began producing their Budweiser in 1875 in the US, while Budvar's use of the brand dates back to 1895.

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