Bud none the wiser
The IPKat is grateful to Terho Nevasalo for tipping him off about the latest decision in the BUDWEISER saga. This decision appears to be a stalemate. This time, the venue of the argument was Finland, where Anheuser-Busch holds the BUDWEISER trade mark. Information is still a bit hazy, but from what the Kat can make out, the Finnish Supreme Court has recognised that the Czech company has a defence based on use of its trade name, as long as it uses the term BUDWEISER BUDVAR in accordance with honest practices. However, this defence does not cover the use of the term BUD.
If the IPKat is right about the reasoning of this case, this approach could have major implications for cross-border trade mark disputes. The ECJ has already recognised in Gerolsteiner that the fact that two companies have come up with confusingly similar names doesn’t amount to dishonesty. The Finnish Supreme Court’s approach appears to suggest that this reading of the proviso to the defences can be put together with a defence based on use of a defendant’s own company name, and not just on use of one’s own personal name.
More information on the decision is available here.
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Friday, 6 January 2006
Posted by Unknown at 3:03:00 pm