Heineken loses patent battle with InBev

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Netherlands, Brewing, Inbev brands, Heineken

Heineken has failed in its first attempt to stop rival brewer InBev
selling its home brewing system in the Netherlands.

A district court in the Hague rejected Heineken's claim that its patents had been encroached by a portable beer-on-tap system developed by InBev and technology group Philips.

Heineken said the InBev-Philips PerfectDraft product was too similar to its own patented BeerTender system developed in collaboration with Krups.

The court's judge ruled that the issue was too complicated for summary proceedings, enabling InBev to continue selling PerfectDraft in the Netherlands.

Heineken spokesperson Gijsbert Siertsema said the group was disappointed with the decision. "We believe we have the right to protect our innovations and our patents."

He said Heineken was busy studying the court's lengthy verdict in detail "to see if there are further avenues for action and decide whether we are going to take action. At the moment we are not able to say."

The brewer's BeerTender product, essentially a system containing four-litre keg that pours beer as though on tap, has done well since its launch in 2004. Heineken said it had sold 150,000 systems and 3m kegs in the Netherlands.

InBev, which owns beer brands such as Stella Artois and Leffe, said it was delighted with the court's ruling.

Related topics: R&D, Heineken

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