After last week's decisive ruling in the UK, Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar has won another trademark court case, this time in Switzerland.
The state-owned brewer said that an appeal by arch rival Anheuser-Busch against an earlier decision granting the sole rights to the Bud name to Budvar had been turned down by the Swiss Federal Court's Appeals Commission for Intellectual Property. Budvar was found to have the sole rights to the Bud name in December 2000 after an investigation by the Swiss Patent Office.
That Patent Office was called in to rule on the matter after Budweiser Budvar objected to the registration of the Bud and American Bud trademarks by the US-based brewery.
"The Swiss Federal Court notes that the grounds for recognising Budweiser Budvar's exclusive right to the Bud trademark include, without limitation, the final decision of the Swiss Supreme Court of 1999. That Court prohibited AB from using the designation Bud on the Swiss market and at the same time accorded the right of using the Bud trademark to Budweiser Budvar," said Jiri Bocek, Budweiser Budvar director.
"This is another decision that provides legal certainty to our future business. Switzerland ranks among our brewery's traditional medium-sized export markets. Products bearing our brands have been marketed in that country since as early as the 1960s and have been enjoying considerable popularity and awareness amongst consumers there. At present, you will find both the traditional Budweiser Budvar lager and the special 16-degree Bud Super Strong lager."
Budweiser Budvar brewery has 380 trademarks registered in more than 100 countries of the world. It currently has 40 lawsuits pending with AB, and over 40 administrative proceedings under way before patent offices. In addition to the UK, Budweiser Budvar has recently won trademark disputes in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Greece, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.
For its part, AB also claims victory in recent cases in Australia, New Zealand and Denmark, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Finland, Italy, Hungary and Spain.