​Budweiser Name Change Battle Hits 106-Year Snag​​

Anheuser-Busch and a small Czech Republic brewery have been battling for the last 106 years over who should have to make a change in their “Budweiser” named products in some countries of the European Union.

After all this time, it looked like a deal had been reached between the two company’s and Anheuser-Busch, which recently changed to AB InBev, would be able to sell the “Budweiser” brand in certain European countries. But the talks hit a snag and the battle over the name seems to be destined to carry on.

State-owned Budejovicky Budvar brewing company in the city of Ceske Budejovice, and AB InBev have been in dispute over exclusive rights, when only one of the companies is allowed to use the Budweiser name in any given country. As a larger company, AB InBev is particularly keen to expand its exports and market its beers under the Budweiser brand. But Budvar says that giving up its exclusive rights to the name would threaten to wipe out its own brand from the market.

Budvar’s “Budweiser” is sold in the United States and Canada under the label Czechvar. Anheuser-Busch founded in 1852, began producing Budweiser, America’s first national beer brand, in 1876 - 19 years before Budvar was founded.

The two companies have been in a legal battle since 1906. Today, the dispute is being waged through 61 suits in 11 countries.

Recently, the two companies had been in talks to allow AB InBev to Trademark the beer brand in the EU, but Budvar’s director general, Jiri Bocek announced the deal was not in his company’s best interest.

“Any new deal proposed by Anheuser-Busch wouldn’t be working for us,” he told The Associated Press.

One of the issues, Bocek said, is that AB Inbev is not satisfied with sharing the brand name. “Their goal is to gain exclusivity for their Budweiser all around the world,” said Bocek.

Karen Couck, the spokeswoman for AB Inbev said, “We want to make sure that when our customers order a Budweiser that they receive the clean, crisp taste of the global brand we have created.”

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