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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 18:15 GMT
Rival Budweisers form an alliance
The US Budweiser beer
The US Budweiser beer is a global bestseller
The two beer firms that have been fighting a century-long legal battle over the Budweiser brand name have formed an historic trade alliance.

More usually battling it out in courts, American giant Anheuser-Busch will now distribute Czech firm Budejovicky Budvar's rival Budweiser in the US.

Yet Budvar's Budweiser will remain under the Czechvar name in the US, due to the ongoing trademark dispute.

Budvar said it was a "historical turning point" for the two companies.

However, both firms have vowed to continue their global legal fight over the Budweiser trademark.

'Practical dialogue'

"We have managed to move away from discussions between lawyers and toward a practical dialogue, which is going to be beneficial to both sides," said Budejovicky Budvar chief Jiri Bocek.

The Czech Budweiser beer
The Czech Budweiser is still owned by the Czech government

The deal means the Czech company will get access to Anheuser-Busch's network of 600 independent wholesalers.

Anheuser-Busch is the largest brewer in the US, and its two main beers - Bud Light and Budweiser - are the country's two best sellers.

Both firms claim a historical right to use the famous Budweiser brand.

Anheuser-Busch says it has the right to the name as it first started brewing Budweiser in 1876, 19 years before Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895.

Yet Budejovicky Budvar counters that its Budweiser is simply named after its hometown of Ceske Budejovice, which is called Budweis in German.

Beer has been brewed in the Czech town since 1265.

Budejovicky Budvar remains owned by the Czech government.

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