Budvar snubs A-B with Bud lager launch

After winning an historic court battle against US beer giant Anheuser-Busch (A-B) over the Budweiser and Bud names in the UK, Budweiser Budvar plans to launch a super premium high-strength beer called Bud Super Strong, in the New Year.

Bud Super Strong is a high-strength super premium lager already sold on the Continent. It will have limited distribution in bars, and will be primarily a seasonal beer to be sold during the winter.

The Court of Appeal last week dismissed a challenge by A-B to the Czech brewery’s right to the names Bud and Budweiser Budbrau. Both companies will have the right to continue using the names. The Czechs won a similar court case over Budweiser four years ago.

The ruling has made legal history. John Slater, managing partner of trademark attorneys Marks & Clerk, represented the Czech brewers. He says: “I can’t think of any other situation where two rival companies have been granted the right to use the same trademarks for directly competing products.”

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