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BUDEJOVICKY BUDVAR NARODNI PODNIK v ANHEUSER-BUSCH INC

Where one brewer had registered its proprietorship of a trade mark on a date that was earlier than a competitor’s registration of the same trade mark, the subsequent proprietorship was deemed invalid under the Trade Marks Act 1994 s 47(2), but only in respect of goods that had been covered by the prior trade mark.

4 March 2008

The appellant brewer (B) appealed against the decision of a hearing officer to grant a declaration of invalidity in relation to trade marks registered in its name on the application of the respondent (R). R and B both produced beer under the trade mark BUDWEISER. Apart from that common name, there was no similarity of taste or appearance between the two types of beer which were in different bottles. There had been a substantial amount of litigation between the parties in relation to their individual use of the trade marks BUDWEISER and its contraction BUD. Eventually, it was judicially determined that the use of both trade marks by each brewer was an honest concurrent use and neither party was exclusively entitled to the goodwill attaching to either. Consequently, both R and B applied to become the registered proprietor of both names. R’s application was made on 11 December 1979, while B’s was made on 28 June 1989. R's application referred to “beer, ale and porter” and B’s...

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