Do you think the names Budweiser and Budini sound similar? Budweiser thought so; the beer company sent a cease-and-desist letter to Budini, an Argentine wine brand, claiming that Budweiser "owns the trademark for all alcoholic beverages beginning with the letters BUD."
Vine Connections, the San Francisco-based importer that sells Budini wines, decided to acquiesce to Anheuser-Busch's demands rather than deal with a legal battle. So it changed the name of the wine.
This isn't the first "Bud" legal battle. The Czech beer Budvar has also been fighting against Anheuser-Busch's trademark claims.
Vine Connections will donate they money it would have paid fighting the case to the Dominio del Plata Scholarship Foundation, which provides educational and recreational opportunities to children of winemaking families throughout Argentina.
Budini originally stood for "Built Upon Dreams Of Individuals, Not Institutions." Now, Bodini stands for "Built On Dreams Of Individuals, Not Institutions."
Budini makes about 20,800 cases of Malbec and Chardonnay that retail for around $13 each.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that the money going to Dominio del Plata Scholarship Foundation was going to Bodini's employees' children. The money is going to the children of winemaking families throughout Argentina.
UPDATED: The following is a statement from Andrea Cannon, Associate General Counsel, Anheuser-Busch.
The coverage about Budweiser and Bodini wine falsely represents Anheuser-Busch’s actual exchange with Vine Connections. Anheuser Busch had an agreement that actually allowed the previous owner of the wine brand “Budini” to use the name with a design element that helps make it distinct from our brand, thereby eliminating any confusion and protecting our trademark rights. We informed the new importer, Vine Connections, of the agreement. Instead, Vine Connections decided to change the name from Budini to Bodini. We are surprised the company’s publicity efforts implied a hostile legal exchange between our companies, when none existed.