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Suntory, Asahi tussle over nonalcoholic beer in patent suit

Nonalcoholic beers are gaining ground in Japan.

TOKYO -- Competition is heating up in the Japanese market for alcohol-free beers, a profitable bright spot in a slumping industry, with titans Suntory Holdings and Asahi Breweries even taking their battle to court.

     Plaintiff Suntory obtained a patent for a beer-flavored beverage with a good mouthfeel, created by keeping extract content, pH and sugar content within a certain range.

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