Homeric Battle in Germany: Bizarre Court Battle over Duff Beer Trademark
Germany's Duff Beer UG has long shown itself to be a formidable foe in the courtroom, taking on all comers in defending its right to brew Homer Simpson's favorite beer. On Thursday, however, the company lost a battle to gain the sole trademark to the name -- meaning Germany will continue to have two Duff beers.
For what was originally a fictitious beverage fawned over by a yellow cartoon character with four fingers, Duff Beer and its would-be real-life producers have spent a surprising amount of time in court. And on Thursday, yet another such legal tiff was resolved -- with Germany's Federal Court of Justice (BGH) essentially ruling that the country can have two separate beers named Duff.
After two lower courts had come to contrary conclusions, the BGH ruled on Thursday that the original holder of the Duff beer trademark could keep it. In other words, Duff Beer UG in the state of Hesse, which has become well known in Germany and the rest of Europe for its version of Homer Simpson's favorite suds, will continue being merely one of a pair of Duff beers in Germany.
Duff Beer UG has been widely successful in recent years and currently distributes its beer in several European countries. It has even been singled out for the quality of its product by the German Agricultural Society.
Fudd Beer Perhaps?
In Europe, however, Twentieth Century Fox has had limited success in stopping the spread of Duff Beer UG, which is also distributed in the UK. Indeed, the German company has even taken Twentieth Century Fox to the European Court of Justice to defend its territory in a case that is still pending.
Should it lose, Duff Beer UG could always try its hand at Fudd Beer. But according to Homer's bartender Moe, that stuff might make you go blind.
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