Important Victory in Italy for Dutch Brewery Bavaria in Trademark Battle

Mar 04, 2011, 08:25 ET from Bavaria N.V.

LIESHOUT, The Netherlands, March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Italian Court of Appeal in Torino has put an end to the trademark conflict between the Dutch brewery Bavaria and the Bayerischer Brauerbund (BBB). After more than 6 years of litigation, today Bavaria has finally won this battle. This victory in Italy is the next positive decision, after Bavaria's recent victories in Australia and Spain and the positive decisions of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110304/441535 )

Legal background

With this landmark decision, the Court of Appeal of Torino held that the Bavaria figurative trademarks registered in Italy between 1971 and 1995 have all been validly registered and their use in Italy by Bavaria for its Dutch beer may continue notwithstanding the registration in 2001 of the geographical indication ("PGI") Bayerisches Bier. The Court ruled that all Bavaria trademarks have priority over the PGI, have been registered in good faith and are not affected, in view of their overall appearance and of their use, by any grounds of invalidity or forfeiture, and in particular are not deceptive for Italian consumers. This implies that Bavaria can continue to sell in Italy its Bavaria Holland beer with no impediment from registration of the PGI Bayerisches Bier.

Important victory

Peer Swinkels, boardmember of Bavaria, commented: "We appreciate the fact that the Italian court held that Bavaria's figurative trademarks in Italy have all been validly registered. This conclusion is a great support to building our brandname and to enhancing the perception of quality of our Bavaria-brand. We can now concentrate on our business worldwide, also in Italy where we have a very strong position in the imported beer market."

Bavaria worldwide

In its 300-year-old history, Bavaria has developed from a small brewery in the south of Holland into an international player. Nowadays, Bavaria is Europe's biggest independent brewery. Sixty-five percent of the six and a half million hectolitres of beer is exported. Last year Bavaria started a rigorous operation to launch a new brand identity worldwide. After the launch in Holland, this year the new brand identity will be rolled out in 130 countries.

As an independent family owned company Bavaria has gained leading positions in niche markets, for example with Malt Drinks in the Middle-East. Except for the beer Bavaria is internationally known for their surprising commercials starring famous actors such as Mickey Rourke. Besides that Bavaria is famous for the Formula-1 event Bavaria Moscow City Racing, but also for remarkable WK-gadgets, such as the orange DutchDress during the Worldcup in 2010. In 2010 Bavaria won the award for Best Marketing Effort in Holland, which was presented at the prestigious NIMA Awards.

SOURCE Bavaria N.V.