Thursday, October 19, 2006
EU Court: Bud is Not Bit
After years of fighting pitched battles over the Budweiser trademark with a Czech brewery, it looks like Anheuser-Busch will not have the same problem with a German company. A court in the European Union today tossed out a lawsuit by Bitburger Brauerei Th. Simon GmbH of Germany which had alleged the Bud trademark could be confused with the Bit brand.
Bitburger had petitioned the Court of First Instance to overturn a European trademark office ruling that the two brands were unique and not confusing. The court said the brand logos were different enough and the average German consumer could easily distinguish between the pronunciation of "Bit" and "Bud."
A-B has been in a legal tussle with Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar for years over the Budweiser brand name. The EU had ruled this summer that A-B could register the Bud trademark to use on its Budweiser beer sold in the 25-nation bloc. Budvar can use the Budweiser name. That ruling is likely to be appealed, but it set up Bitburger's complaint involving the Bud and Bit trademarks.