A-B scores against Budvar

U.S. brewer wins court decision in New Zealand

Sept 20, 2002 - Anheuser-Busch of the United States has won the latest round of the ongoing battle with the Czech beer known in some places as Budweiser Budvar.


Stephen Burrows said in a statement Friday that New Zealand's Court of Appeal reversed a High Court decision and ordered Budejovicky Budvar to stop importing, advertising, or selling beer under the Budweiser name.

Burrows called the ruling "another significant victory" after it stopped Budvar from using the Budweiser name in Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Spain and most recently, Italy.

Anheuser-Busch, which brews Budweiser and holds the trademark in New Zealand for the beer, claimed the Czech brewery violated the Trademarks Act and the Fair Trading Act by using the word "Budweiser" on its beer labels. The Czech beer, introduced to New Zealand in 1996 as Budejovicky Budvar, is also sold as Budweiser Budvar.

Anheuser-Busch asked the Court of Appeal to overturn the High Court decision, which said there was no evidence the Czech beer would be confused with the U.S. beer. The court's decision does not affect the Czech company's ability to use the Budejovicky Budvar name.

A-B and Budejovicky Budvar have been battling for years and in countries around the world over the right to call beer "Budweiser." There's no dispute over the name in the United States, where the Czech-brewed beer is known as Czechvar.

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