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Czech Brewery to Increase Exports

April 9, 2002

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ The Czech brewery which claims rights to market a beer named Budweiser outside the United States said Tuesday it plans to increase lager exports to the United States.

Budejovicky Budvar said its beer, Czechvar, has sold so well in the United States that it hoped to increase exports to up to 394,736 gallons this year from 223,684 gallons in 2001, spokesman Robert Chrt said.

The company also plans to expand its exports outside Ontario and British Columbia in Canada.

Budvar began exporting its lager to the United States in November 2000 for the first time since a 1939 agreement gave U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch sole rights to the name Budweiser in North America.

Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895 in the Czech town of Ceske Budejovice _ called Budweis by the German-speaking population that populated the area at the time. Beer has been brewed there since 1265.

The founders of Anheuser-Busch used the name Budweiser for their product because it was well-known in their homeland, Germany. They founded their brewery in 1876.

Disputes over the trademark date back to 1906, when the Czech brewery began exporting its product to the United States. The two competitors are embroiled in about 60 lawsuits across Europe.

The company has said it would not challenge the right of its American rival to use the Budweiser name on U.S. territory.

``Our aim is to sell beer and make money, not to get engaged in lawsuits,″ Chrt said.

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