InBev has hit back at claims by rival brewer Heineken that the Belgian brewer's home-draught system infringes on Heineken's patent for a similar system.

In a statement, InBev said that PerfectDraft, a home-draught beer system developed by Philips and InBev, does not infringe any patents as claimed.

"The PerfectDraft system, first launched in Belgium in November 2004, was developed fully respecting all intellectual property rights. Heineken's claims are without merit," the statement said.

Heineken announced yesterday that it is looking to block InBev's competing home draught beer system. The Dutch brewer is seeking a high court injunction against InBev and Philips Electronics, claiming that the companies have breached its patent.
Heineken, which launched its Beer Tender home draft system last year, said that it wants Philips and InBev to cease selling their system in the Netherlands and Germany.

"Heineken and Krups welcome competition for BeerTender in the home tap market," the company said. "That is good for the development of the beer market. But new entrants must develop their own technology without infringing Heineken's patents."

No-one at Heineken was available for comment yesterday when contacted by just-drinks.