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JAPAN: Asahi warns Suntory over new brand name

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Two of Japan's major brewers look set for a clash over the use of a brand name. Asahi Breweries has warned Suntory that a new product it is set to launch bears a name which is too close to its flagship beer brand Super Dry.

Asahi has written to Suntory, claiming that the latter's new happoshu brand, Super Magnum Dry, which is due to be launched on June 25, inappropriately takes advantage of Asahi's Super Dry brand. Asahi added that the new brand will damage the value of its Super Dry brand which has been built up over a long period of time. However, Suntory has so far refused to yield and the dispute could well end up in court.

Suntory has said that the name is derived from its own Magnum Dry happoshu brand which was launched in June 1999 but which came out of production in April. The dispute comes at a time when Kirin and Sapporo are also embroiled in a legal battle over the label design Sapporo's new happoshu brand.


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