“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – the Bard
In the brand battles raging across the globe, a relatively small state owned brewery in the Czech Republic has won another round in its fight to use its historic Budweiser trademark in Britain. A court in the UK believes that British beer drinkers actually can tell the difference between the original Budvar and its young pretender from the USA. The court rejected Anheuser-Busch’s request that brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP stop using the name Budweiser. This mirrors another recent decision from the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg affirming the use in Britain of the centuries old trademark by the brewery form the city of České Budějovice (Budweis).
What are the odds that beer drinkers on this side of the pond will develop such a discerning palate? Given the explosion of micro and craft breweries in the USA, I’d say the odds are pretty good. However, given AB’s deep pockets and the lobbying industry in this country, I’d also say that Davey will not beat Goliath on these shores any time soon.