Battle of the Buds
court battle with its Czech rival
Anheuser-Busch, now part of A-B InBev, has lost its EU-wide hold on the "Budweiser" brand name following a ruling by the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, which found in favour of A-B's Czech rival, Budweiser Budvar. The ECFI said the EU's trademark registry, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, erred when it rejected Budvar's complaint against A-B's listing. The two breweries have been locked in a bitter trademark dispute for more than 100 years.
Budvar claimed it registered the trademark Budweiser under a 1958 agreement that protected the brand in France, Austria and the then Czechoslovakia. With the ruling, A-B could only use the Budweiser trademark in European countries where it has made separate brand registrations ahead of its Czech rival.
A spokesman for A-B InBev said the company may appeal against the Luxembourg court decision.
New hope for Burton museum
The Member of Parliament for Burton-on-Trent, Janet Dean, has called a meeting in her constituency for 12 January with a view to continuing the campaign to save the Coors Visitor Centre, formerly the Bass Museum of Brewing. The centre closed in the summer when Coors, the American brewing group that now owns the former Bass breweries in Burton, withdrew funding for the visitor centre.
Mrs Dean hopes to create the Burton Brewing Heritage Group, made up of influential people in the industry, to see if the visitor centre can be revived. One plan is to create a Trust that could run a re-opened museum on the site. Coors has agreed to charge only a peppercorn annual rent if another body could takeover the centre.