A-B InBev, owner of the Amercian Budweiser brand, sought legal action to invalidate Budweiser Budvar’s use of the name, arguing that it registered the name in the United Kingdom 13 years earlier than its Czech rival, in 1976.
Both brands were granted the right to the name in the UK in 2000.
The Court of Appeal sought clarification from the European Court of Justice, which ruled that the long concurrent use of the name by the two companies means it is not likely to have an impact on A-B InBev’s Budweiser brand.
The ECJ said: “Although the names are identical, United Kingdom consumers are well aware of the difference between Budvar’s beers and those of Anheuser-Busch, since their tastes, prices and get-ups have always been different.”
In addition, it said that the beers are “clearly identifiable as being produced by different companies”.
The case will now return to the United Kingdom Court of Appeal, where it will be examined by judges.