Anheuser-Busch Inc. v. Budĕjovický Budvar

2004 ECR I-10989 (2004)

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Anheuser-Busch Inc. v. Budĕjovický Budvar

European Court of Justice
2004 ECR I-10989 (2004)

Facts

Anheuser-Busch Inc. (plaintiff), an American corporation, had owned the trademarks Budweiser, Bud, Bud Light, and Budweiser King of Beers in Finland since 1980. Budĕjovický Budvar (Budvar) (defendant) registered the trademark Budweiser Budvar in Czech and French. Anheuser-Busch filed suit in Finland seeking to enjoin Budvar from using these marks, arguing that the two marks could cause confusion because they both referenced beer. The Finnish courts ruled that there was not enough evidence to conclude that the English version, Budweiser, was well known in Finland before Anheuser-Busch registered the trademarks there. The Finnish courts then referred to the European Court of Justice the question of whether a trademark not registered or established by use in a European Union member state could receive protection by way of existing prior right.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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