AB InBev Gets EU Trademark Rights to Use ‘Bud’ Beer Name

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV was formally granted the European Union-wide trademark right for the word “Bud” for beer after an EU agency registered the intellectual property right.

The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the EU’s trademark authority, registered the Bud trademark, the brewer said in an e-mailed statement today. The step follows AB InBev’s victory in a trademark clash with Czech competitor Budejovicky Budvar NP at the EU General Court in Luxembourg.

“While we have national rights for Bud and Budweiser in many European Union member states, it fills in the remaining gaps that we had,” Frank Hellwig, global legal director at AB InBev, said in a statement. “We now have more countries covered by Bud or Budweiser trademark registrations than we have had at any point in time in the 137 year history of the brand.”

AB InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, and Czech rival Budvar have been entangled in disputes over the use of the Bud brand for more than a century, as each brewer won and lost the rights in different rulings. Anheuser-Busch, founded by German-born American Adolphus Busch, said it started using the Budweiser name in 1876, 19 years before Budvar was formed.

The Czech brewer didn’t appeal the EU court decision from January. The EU trademark office approved the Bud registration on June 14, AB InBev said.