Bit bites A-B's Bud

U.S. brewer can't use 'American Bud' name in Germany

Apr 28, 2001 - A German court has ruled against Anheuser-Busch's efforts to use its Bud brand name in Germany. It said "Bud" is too much like "Bit," the diminutive of the popular German beer Bitburger.


"It's very difficult, Bud, Bit, Bit or Bud," said Wolfgang Krueger, spokesman for the Federal Court of Justice, which ruled on St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch's request to market its Budweiser beer under two new brand names in Germany. The court said it struck down the proposed name "American Bud" and deferred judgment on "Anheuser-Busch Bud" because using them in Germany would likely water down the brand name Bit.

"We are optimistic that the Hamburg court will eventually clear the way for 'Anheuser-Busch Bud,'" said Stephen J. Burrows, chief executive of Anheuser-Busch International. "We continue to believe both names in the case would not lead to confusion with 'Bit.'"

Under an agreement with Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar that also uses the name Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch does not market its beer under the Budweiser brand name in several European countries, including Germany.

Anheuser-Busch therefore markets beers as "Bud" in 15 countries, "American Bud" in Hungary and "Anheuser-Busch B" in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Budejovicky Budvar recently began selling its Budvar beer in the United States, where A-B has rights to the the Bud trademark, using the name of Czechvar.

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