Czechvar brand approved in US

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Related tags: Budejovicky budvar

Budejovicky Budvar, the Czech brewer, has registered the name
Czechvar for the beer it sells in the US, but will continue the
fight against rival Anheuser-Busch over the right to the name
Budweiser in other markets.

The battle between Budweiser and Budweiser has made the headlines across the world in recent years, pitching the might of Anheuser-Busch, the world's biggest brewer and maker of the US Budweiser brand, against the smaller state-owned Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, which claims the sole right to the Budweiser brand as it is the only beer made in the town - called Budweis in German and Ceske Budejovice in Czech - which gives the beer its name.

In the UK, both brands are available, with the Czech beer going under the name Budweiser Budvar to mark the difference, but in other countries it is the US company which has been forced to change its name to any of a number of variants such as American Bud.

Not surprisingly, though, the Czech group was forced to change its name in the US market, and has launched the beer under the name Czechvar, approval of which was granted by the US Patent office this week.

"We are very pleased to clear this hurdle in North America,"​said Jana Kubistova, brand export manager for BBNP, the export arm of Budejovicky Budvar. "Czechvar sales figures have far exceeded our expectations, and we look forward to growing our market presence throughout the United States and Canada without any further legal distractions."

While many of the legal battles between the two Budweisers have taken place in recent times, since the fall of the Soviet Union opened up new prospects for the Czech beer, the situation in the US dates back to 1939 when AB won the sole rights to the Budweiser name there.

Czechvar was launched on a trial basis in 2000, followed by an official rollout in early 2001, and is currently available in 16 states. The Czech firm said it was happy with the initial success of Czechvar, which is now being introduced on a trial basis in various Canadian markets, but that this would not distract it from its continued battle with AB in other countries.

It claims to have 380 trademarks in more than 100 countries worldwide, but added that a further 40 legal disputes and another 40 additional proceedings between itself and AB were currently taking place in other countries.

Related topics: R&D

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