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Monday, January 08, 2007

Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Budejovicky Budvar Sign a Truce in the U.S.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. of the United States and Budejovicky Budvar of the Czech Republic have agreed to put aside one of the world's longest running trademark disputes in the name of selling more Czech pilsner in America.

The two companies have fought over the Budweiser trademark, running up millions of dollars in legal bills around the world. Anheuser-Busch cannot sell its flagship beer under the Budweiser name in most of Europe, using the name Bud instead. In the U.S., the Czech company cannot use the Budvar brand name, instead selling its beer as Czechvar.

Under the agreement announced by the two brewing firms this morning, Czechvar, currently sold in 30 states, will go nationwide using A-B’s marketing, sales and distribution clout. The move further expands the St. Louis based brewery's alliances with imported brands. Czechvar joins Grolsch, Tiger, Kirin, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Bass Pale Ale, Leffe and other beers in A-B's import portfolio.

The two companies are calling the agreement "an historic alliance." And while it does not clarify which is the "real" Budweiser from a trademark standpoint -- more than 40 lawsuits over the trademark will move forward in other nations -- it does signal a change in approach by the two companies.

"After years of differences, this is a meaningful step for two great brewers to form a relationship that is good for both of our businesses," said August A. Busch IV, president and chief executive of Anheuser-Busch.

"We managed to move away from discussions between lawyers and towards a practical dialogue," said Jiri Bocek, director general of Budejovicky Budvar.


beynonjohnl said...

As an American who enjoys good beer I have to say that I hate the american concoction called Budweiser. I've never tasted the Czech lager by the same name but I have tasted pilsner Urquel and it is a delight to the palate not to mention the other organs involved in the consumption of a fine beverage. The American slop is an insult to the senses. They brewers should be ashamed. Thank God for microbrewerys.

Bodhi said...

I've always hungered after this great beer in the U.S. after drinking it in England 20 years ago. One of the worlds great lager's. Well worth the wait.(if I can get it in CA).

Anonymous said...

Budweiser is THEE KING of ALL beers world wide. I just don't see what the big deal is about imported ( out of u.s. ) beer is!!!
Budweiser for life !!!!