When you hear about Duff Beer, chances are that the first thing that comes to mind is “The Simpsons”. While it is mainly known as a fictitious brand, the beer does exist, and for months the two companies that make it in Germany have been in a legal dispute over who owns the trademark.
Duff Beer UG, began brewing the beer in the state of Hesse back in 2007, despite the fact that another German brewery had sold a beer under the same Duff branding and held the trademark since 1999. The Hesse based company argued that the trademark was void and the original company did not appear to be no longer producing the beer. However, in a recent ruling by the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (BGH), it was declared that the 1999 trademark was still valid, but the two companies would be allowed to use the Duff name.
You may be asking yourself how either one of these companies can use the Duff name when it is clearly a creation of the Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Since Twentieth Century Fox does not own the trademark in Europe, there is little that can be done to stop the use. In fact, there is an ongoing legal battle already between Twentieth Century Fox and Duff Beer UG, but it appears that the German company, which has actually seen significant success with their brew, has the upper hand.
Have you tried the German Duff Beer? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Photo by Cazault via flickr