Budweiser vs Budweiser

Old Budvar Truck

...and what you need to know (starting with the fact 'Budweiser' is a German adjective describing something from the city of Budweis, located in the Czech Republic).

It's kind of complicated, but when broken down into pint-sized items, does go down rather smoothly.

The Budweiser Bier Buergerbraeu (that is, in plain terms the Brewery for Citizens) in the Czech city of Budweis began selling what they called Budweiser. They started exporting to the US in 1875.

Anheuser-Busch started using the Budweiser name in the US, and registered it two years later.

A new brewery called Budweiser Budvar was founded in Budweis, and since the beer was from Budweis called it such and started exporting to the US.

A trademark dispute arose between the two companies selling Budweiser in the US. It was decided that the Czechs could use the name in Europe, and Anheuser-Busch could use the name only in North America.

Anheuser-Busch applied for the registration mark in the UK. In other, unrelated news, ABBA has their first #1 album in the UK.

Budvar applied for the registration mark in the UK. This could possibly have had to do with the fact that the Czechs started peeking through the Iron Curtain which had gaping holes the size of Hungary. Actually, the hole was Hungary.

Both companies were given permission by the EU to simultaneously register the name in 2000, since they'd both been sold in the UK for years.

Anheuser-Busch tried started legal action to get the name in the UK because they had applied for the registration mark earlier.

The EU Court of Justice rules that - possibly on grounds that Budvar is a beer far superior than anything that Anheuser-Busch could brew up - the Czech can continue to use the trademark in the UK. So can the Americans. Madeleine Albright must be very happy about this. And you should be, too, since it means you'll still be able to find the real king of beers in your local Waitrose.

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