Sorry Budvar…

Stephen Beard Jun 12, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: In Europe, two companies that make a beer called Budweiser have been duking it out for years. Today, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch won the latest legal battle. Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: A European court has ruled that Anheuser-Busch has the right to use the name Budweiser across the E.U. on merchandise like T-shirts and baseball hats.

A setback for the small state-owned Czech brewer Budvar. It’s been selling its Budweiser beer since the 19th Century.

But this isn’t the end of the story, says Roger Protz of the Good Beer Guide. Today’s decision relates only to merchandise &mdsah; not to beer. The two companies are still slugging it out in the beer market in different countries across Europe.

ROGER PROTZ: For example, in Italy where Anheuser-Busch won the Czech beer has to be sold as Czechvar instead of Budvar. In Spain because Budvar registered the title first, the American beer is sold only as Bud. They can’t use the full title.

The two companies still have 40 court cases outstanding. The only way this will end, says Protz, will be if the American giant buys its tiny Czech rival.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: In Europe, two companies that make a beer called Budweiser have been duking it out for years. Today, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch won the latest legal battle. Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: A European court has ruled that Anheuser-Busch has the right to use the name Budweiser across the E.U. on merchandise like T-shirts and baseball hats.

A setback for the small state-owned Czech brewer Budvar. It’s been selling its Budweiser beer since the 19th Century.

But this isn’t the end of the story, says Roger Protz of the Good Beer Guide. Today’s decision relates only to merchandise &mdsah; not to beer. The two companies are still slugging it out in the beer market in different countries across Europe.

ROGER PROTZ: For example, in Italy where Anheuser-Busch won, the Czech beer has to be sold as Czechvar instead of Budvar. In Spain because Budvar registered the title first, the American beer is sold only as Bud. They can’t use the full title.

The two companies still have 40 court cases outstanding. The only way this will end, says Protz, will be if the American giant buys its tiny Czech rival.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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