EU court settles the Bud question

The Budejovicky Budvar brewery, in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.
Petr David Josek/Associated Press/File
The Budejovicky Budvar brewery, in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.

BRUSSELS — Ask for a ‘‘Bud’’ in the European Union and the only one you’ll get from now on is by the brewing giant AB InBev, an EU high court ruled Tuesday in a rejection of a challenge from the Czech company Budejovicky Budvar.

AB InBev claimed victory in the latest round in the century-long fight between the two companies over the right to put the word Budweiser, one of beer’s biggest brand name, on their bottles and kegs. The company — which owns the Anheuser-Busch beer — added that it now has the ‘‘right to a Bud trademark registration valid throughout the entire European Union.’’

On Tuesday, the EU’s General Court said that AB Inbev could use ‘‘Bud’’ because of the insignificant use of the term by Budvar in Austria and France.


After the Luxembourg-based high court dismissed Budvar’s challenge, the Czech company said it would consider an appeal at the EU’s highest court. Budvar argues that only beer brewed in its part of the Czech Republic can be called Budweiser.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The brewers last agreed on a global settlement in 1939 in a pact that gave Anheuser-Busch sole rights to the name Budweiser in all American territories north of Panama. But trouble grew as the brewers entered new markets.

Associated Press