• Germany edition
 
Doh! Court must choose between two Duff Beers
Photo: Screenshot, www.duff-bier.de

Doh! Court must choose between two Duff Beers

Published: 05 Dec 2012 15:46 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2012 15:46 GMT+01:00

A top German top court busied itself on Wednesday with the question of which Duff Beer brand had the right to imitate the brand invented specifically for yellow cartoon boozer Homer Simpson.

The row, which has already produced two conflicting opinions from lower courts, reached the Federal Court of Justice, where Judge Joachim Bornkamm opened proceedings by describing The Simpsons cartoon as a series where, "a certain Mr Homer Simpson appears; and this gentleman drinks."

Bornkamm stressed that Simpson's favourite beer was "a cheaper brand."

Nonetheless, the gimmick value of marketing Duff Beer is not to be underestimated, and the two manufacturers have kept courts and lawyers busy with competing claims.

The firm Duff Beer UG in Eschwege, Hessen, produces Duff Beer in bottles and cans, complete with a Simpsons style logo and a website which calls it a legendary beer without actually mentioning the Simpsons.

Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, prevented this happening in the US, the Financial Times Deutschland reported on Wednesday.

Simpsons owner Twentieth Century Fox argued that although The Simpsons was popular among adults, it was conceived for children, and he did not want to encourage young people to drink.

This ban did not extend to Germany though - Twentieth Century Fox failed several years ago to show how well-known the cartoon series was on this side of the Atlantic.

So Duff Beer UG cracked open first bottles, and more recently cans, of Homer's favourite brew, selling them across Germany to customers with a red, quadratic logo, clearly on the back of the not-mentioned yellow-skinned residents of Springfield.

It then applied to get another Duff Beer logo registered by a different drinks company de-recognised by the trademark German authorities. It argued that the yellow and blue oval logo registered by a firm from Franken, had not been used on a beer, and its trademark status should thus be removed.

The Franken Duff Beer firm's lawyer could not say whether her client was making Duff Beer, but argued that although the oval logo had not been used, the name Duff Beer had been used in a different context, and so was not being ignored.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd