“The verdict is not final and we are considering appealing,” said Budvar spokesman Petr Samec.
In Leuven, at AB Inbev headquarters just east of Brussels, the mood was more elated. “We will now have virtually worldwide protection for the Bud or Budweiser brands,” the company said in a statement, adding the ruling allowed for a “significant expansion of our trademark rights.”
The brewers last agreed on a global settlement in 1939 in a pact that gave Anheuser-Busch sole rights to the name Budweiser in all American territories north of Panama. But trouble brewed as the two companies entered new markets.
Though AB InBev is far larger than Budvar — it produces 270 times more beer — the Czech company is a tough legal challenger. It has won 88 of 124 disputes between 2000 and 2011.