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KARLSRUHE -- U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch Cos. has suffered a new setback in bringing the "American Bud" brand name to the country of its ancestors after a federal court in Karlsruhe ruled that the abbreviation could be easily confused with "Bit," the name for the popular beer by Bitburger Brewery.

The court, however, did offer the U.S. brewer some glimmer of hope when it deferred judgment on the use of the name "Anheuser Busch Bud." A decision is expected by the fourth week of May.

Anheuser-Busch's attempts to extend the Bud name, available in many major European markets, to Germany has been thwarted for decades. As far back as 1911, a rival Czech brewery that also uses the name Budweiser stopped the St. Louis-based brewer from introducing the "Bud" name in Germany, Austria and France.

Anheuser-Busch, in association with Berlin-based Berliner Kindle brewery, tested a brand in the former East German capital, supported by a campaign through Admenting. The test ended six months later, described in the local trade press as the "flop on the Wall." -- Dagmar Mussey

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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