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Anheuser wins rights to sell "Bud" in Russia.

The latest round in the ongoing international trademark battle over the Budweiser name has been won by Anheuser-Busch. The Russian Trademark Office has announced the cancellation of Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar's appellation of origin registration for the name "Bud," and has issued Anheuser-Busch a registration for the name.

The registration was issued in late May and Anheuser-Busch is now free to sell Bud in Russia. Bud was previously sold in Russia in the mid-1990s.

"We're pleased the Russian Trademark Office issued us a registration for Bud and we look forward to making our beer available, in Russia again," said Stephen J. Burrows, president & CEO, Anheuser-Busch International, Inc. "Our Budweiser beer is available in more than 80 countries around the world, and we know beer drinkers in Russia will appreciate its crisp, clean and refreshing taste."

Anheuser-Busch is now free to sell Bud throughout virtually all of the former Soviet Union.

The decision to grant Anheuser-Busch the Bud trademark is the culmination of its 12-year effort to have the trademark registered in Russia in spite of the efforts of the Czech brewer, Budvar, to block it. Late last year, Anheuser-Busch was successful in having Budvar's appellation of origin registration for Bud canceled by the Russian Trademark Office on the grounds that Bud is not a geographic term. That ruling cleared the way for the American brewer to register the Bud name for its beer with the Russian Trademark Office.

Budvar has tried to claim some rights to the Budweiser and Bud brand names in some countries in Europe based on an appellation of origin argument, suggesting that the terms are geographic descriptors of its town, Ceske Budejovice. However, authorities in many of those countries have rejected the argument. In addition to the Russian decision, the Czech brewer's appellation of origin registrations for Bud were cancelled in Moldova and Kazakhstan in recent months.

In other favorable rulings for Anheuser-Busch recently, courts in Italy and Spain have stopped the Czech brewer's use of the Budweiser and Bud trademarks for its beer on all labels, packaging and advertising in those countries, giving the American brewer exclusive right to the trademarks in two of its most important European markets.

Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewer, first registered the Budweiser trademark in 1878. Anheuser points out that this pre-dates the establishment of the Budvar brewery in 1895.
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Title Annotation:Anheuser-Busch
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 9, 2001
Words:390
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