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Budweiser is a German adjective describing something or someone from the city of Budweismarker, a city in Southern Bohemia, Czech Republicmarker. Since 1919 the city has used its Czech name, České Budějovicemarker, as its official name.

Two breweries were founded in the city that made beer which they called "Budweiser," both being beers from the city of Budweis. In 1876, the US brewer Anheuser-Buschmarker began making a beer which it also called "Budweiser." This led in 1907 to the "Budweiser trademark dispute" between beer companies claiming trademarks rights to the name "Budweiser."

The three companies are:
  • Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu, founded 1795 by German-speaking citizens of Budweis (České Budějovice), which began exporting Budweiser Bier to the US in 1875. The company was expropriated in 1945, they changed the name of the company, but the company reacquired the old naming rights in the 1990s after the fall of communism
  • Budweiser , made by Anheuser-Busch in the United States, was first marketed in 1876 as "Budweiser" in the United States and Canada
  • Budweiser Budvar, a brewery founded in 1895 mainly by Czech-speaking citizens of Budweis (České Budějovice)


Dispute over right to use the name

Anheuser-Busch cites prior registration of the trademark in the US and battles for the right to use it worldwide in many legal disputes against the Europe-based companies in several countries. The Europeans wish to maintain or regain their right to market their beer under their traditional trademark. Bürgerbräu has marketed its beer as Budweiser Bier since 1876, while Budvar has marketed its product this way since 1895. The two companies in Budweis point out that Budweiser is not a generic name, but refers to a beer actually made in the city.

The existence of several beers with similar names has caused problems in some markets. In 1907 the US and Czech brewers made an agreement that Anheuser-Busch could market its beer as Budweiser only in North America, while the Czech brewers had the rights to the European markets. Anheuser-Busch markets its product as "Bud" (in France and elsewhere) and "Anheuser-Busch B" (in Germany), where the beer brewed in the original city retains the rights to the name. The United Kingdom is one of the few places where both Anheuser-Busch and Budvar beer are sold under the name "Budweiser." In the U.S., the original beer from Budweis is sold under the name "Czechvar".

In 2007, Anheuser-Busch announced it had signed a deal with Budejovicky Budvar, the maker of the Czech Republic's Budweiser, to import Budvar Budweiser into the United States and sell it under the name Czechvar.

In 2009, the European Court of First Instance upheld a ruling that refuses AB InBev, the new owners of the US Budweiser brand, permission to register the Budweiser brand as a trademark. After the ruling, AB InBev decided to keep the Budweiser or Bud name in 23 of 27 European countries. In the U.K., courts have ruled both companies can call their beer Budweiser. In Germany, Budvar has exclusive control over the Budweiser brand name.

Image:Budvar UK.JPG|Budweiser Budvar in Europe, brewed in Budweis, Czech RepublicImage:A bottle of Budweiser.JPG|American Budweiser, marked "Lone star state Texas"Image:Bud and Budvar.jpg|Bud and Budweiser in a beer shelf in Turkey

See also



References

  1. Rustycans.com
  2. Budweiser Case Study
  3. Story of Czechvar at czechvar.com. Note that both the web pages and the bottle avoid the words Budvar or Budweis etc. using the abbreviation B.B.N.P. (Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik) as the name of the brewery and České Budějovice as the exclusive name of the city.
  4. Anheuser-Busch to Import Budvar Budweiser
  5. Czech Brewer Wins Suit Over Budweiser Naming Rights



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