For over six years Dutch brewery Bavaria and the Bayerischer Brauerbund (BBB) have been fighting each other over the name ‘Bavaria’. The Italian Court of Cassation has now put a final end to the trademark conflict. The court ruled that all Bavaria trademarks have priority over and do not conflict with the protected geographical indication Bayerisches Bier. This one adds to Baviara’s earlier victories in Australia and Spain and the positive decisions of the European Court of Justice.
The BBB has protected the geographical indication Bayerisches Bier in 2001, which means no beer brewed outside of Bavaria can mention the name ‘Bavaria’. You may also recall similar geographical indications, such as champagne, beaujolais, parma (ham) and feta (cheese). Because of the trademark Bavaria, Europe’s biggest independent brewery, the two parties have been battling for years. The BBB states that the beer cannot be named Bavaria, as it does not originate from… Bavaria.
Bavaria is a very old brand and claims they have always used the name legitimately.
The victory in Italy does not by itself mean the end of the legal issues between BBB and Bavaria. The conflict is set in many more countries. However, it seems more and more that the BBB is going to get the short end of the stick.
At Bavaria – the brewery that is – they have probably had a beer of two (or three) after this victory. A Bavaria beer. Not a Bavarian beer.
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