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Asahi says settles court battle with Suntory over zero-alcohol beer patent

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 11:27

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Asahi Group Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday it has settled a dispute with Suntory Holdings Ltd after Suntory accused its rival of infringing a patent for non-alcohol beer.

[TOKYO] Asahi Group Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday it has settled a dispute with Suntory Holdings Ltd after Suntory accused its rival of infringing a patent for non-alcohol beer.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The Tokyo District Court in October rejected a request from Suntory for an injunction to stop Asahi from selling Dry Zero beer, ruling there was no patent infringement. Suntory then appealed the decision in the Intellectual Property High Court.

Suntory has withdrawn its appeal and Asahi will continue making and selling the Dry Zero brew, Asahi said in a statement.

Japan's zero-alcohol beer segment is hotly contested as the country's overall beer market shrinks. Suntory was the top seller of no-alcohol brews in 2014, but was overtaken by Asahi last year.

REUTERS

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