Wednesday, October 12, 2005

For Jono's Birthday: A Story About Beer

A legal battle that has lasted a century thus far with no end in sight: Budějovický Budvar and Anheuser-Busch are currently involved in 40 lawsuits around the world over the name Budweiser.

Yesterday the European Court of Human Rights upheld a Portuguese Supreme Court decision that had given Budějovický Budvar the exclusive right to use the name Budweiser in Portugal. I pay attention to the Budweiser cases because they make me laugh. I always root for the Czechs, of course – Budvar is one of my favourite beers.

Anheuser-Busch had registered the trademark “Budweiser” in Portugal in 1981. But in 1986 Czechoslovakia and Portugal signed a treaty which protects registered designations of origin. Budějovický Budvar is brewed in the southern Bohemian town of České Budějovice, which earlier had been a German-speaking town called Budweis. “Budějovický” and “Budweiser” therefore mean the same thing - “of the town of Budějovice/Budweis”.

Anheuser-Busch went to the ECHR because, they argued, the Portuguese decision violated Protocol 1 Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights: “Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions.” Nice try.

In different proceedings in different countries, sometimes one wins and sometimes the other wins. That is what makes it all so funny. Where Anheuser-Busch cannot use Budweiser, they just stick with “Bud”, and you can now buy Budvar in the USA under the name “Czechvar”, which I highly recommend.

Happy Birthday, Jono!!!
Big love
Max

http://www.budejovickybudvar.cz/

5 comments:

Knottyboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey said...

Uh uh.

Max said...

Sorry, knotty, I have removed your comment because of the link. It's my rule - no photographs of me or of my friends. I'd rather people not be able to make positive identifications.

But yes, it was a year ago today and it was Chez Marcel.

chatsy malone said...

Happy Bday and cheers (chatsy clinks a Czechvar)

AG said...

Jono,

I don't have a way to say it personally, so I'm sending you love and kisses on your special day.

Love, G