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Anheuser-Busch InBev set to appeal a court ruling in Belgium forcing it to withdraw its Jupiler Blue lager brand from the market as the packaging has been deemed too similar to rival Maes Pils.

The brewer said it is "disappointed" with the ruling from Brussels Commercial Court, handed down earlier this month, but will "respect the decision" and initially comply with the court. The case came about after Heineken-owned Alken-Maes launched a lawsuit against A-B InBev, arguing that the Jupiler Blue packaging was a "complete copy" of its Maes Pils.

In April last year, A-B InBev launched Jupiler Blue in blue cans in the country. The shade of blue was changed again in March this year, but Alken-Maes objected to the move.  

The court agreed with Alken-Maes and A-B InBev has a month to recall Jupiler Blue bottles and cans. 

However, an A-B InBev spokersperson said: "We still believe that it is not possible to claim a monopoly on the color blue in general for beer packaging, bearing in mind that different beer brands use blue as a dominant colour on their labels.

"In that sense, we will again ask to cancel the trademark registration of Alken-Maes on the basis of lack of distinctiveness."

A-B InBev says it is appealing because it remains "convinced that there is no risk of confusion from consumers between our packaging and that of Maes Pils".

An Alken-Maes spokesperson said the company was "very happy" with the ruling, adding: "The actual Jupiler Blue packaging will be pulled back from the market, so that the confusion the consumer today is facing in the supermarkets or drink centres will disappear."