Budejovicky Budvar has moved nearer to entering China's beer market after a court in Beijing rejected an appeal from Anheuser-Busch over the registration of the Czech brewer's trademark in the country.

Budvar said today (13 July) that the court's decision supported a ruling last year that allowed the brewer to register the Budejovický Budvar trademark in China.

"The court's final ruling is an important step towards the definite registration of our trademarks. We have significantly reached the point where the Chinese market will be open for us," a Budvar spokesman told just-drinks.

The two brewers are locked in a series of disputes over the Budweiser trademark around the world. Budvar said its battle in China began in 1997 when it submitted an application for the Budejovický Budvar trademark.

A-B has had two appeals against the registration dismissed in 2001 and in 2005. However, the Budvar spokesman said the US brewing giant could yet launch a fresh appeal.

A-B officials could not be reached for comment. A-B owns a 27% stake in China's largest brewer Tsingtao.