updated 6/26/2006 1:26:42 PM ET 2006-06-26T17:26:42

Anheuser-Busch Cos. announced another legal victory Monday in an ongoing fight to trademark its top-selling Budweiser beer in Europe.

The Board of Appeal for the European Union’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market ruled that Anheuser-Busch can register it’s trademark “Bud” beer throughout Europe, the company announced in a news release.

The ruling is just one piece of a massive legal fight in several European courts between Anheuser-Busch and the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar. At issue is the famous Budweiser brand, which both companies claim an historical right to use.

The Czech brewery was founded in 1895 in a town called “Budweiser” by the German immigrants who founded it, while Anheuser-Busch launched its own U.S. Budweiser brand in 1876.

The European courts ruling is subject to appeal, but is a major step forward in Anheuser-Busch’s effort to market Budweiser in Europe, according to the company.

“We are making solid progress in our battle to protect the brand names we’ve developed,” Stephen Burrows, president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch International, said in a news release. “As a result, Anheuser-Busch can sell its flagship brand under the Budweiser or Bud brand in 30 European countries.”

Burrows discounted the Czech brewer’s central claim that the term “Bud” refers to the European brewer’s hometown.

“Bud is not and never has been a city in the Czech Republic,” Burrows said.

The Budvar brewery did not post comments about the ruling on the company’s Web site Monday and did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the decision.

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