As reported here last September, Fox tried to stop a German brewer from producing an unauthorized version of Duff Beer, but were unsuccessful because their trademarks on Duff Beer “weren’t registered for an actual beverage.” So now that a Fox-approved Duff Beer actually exists (despite creator Matt Groening being publicly against it as recently as a year ago), their legal department should have no problem winning future trademark disputes, right?
According to the French Simpsons site The Simpsons Park, the French networks W9 and Canal + have been blurring Duff Beer in Simpsons reruns. Why? Because a German brewer somehow won a trademark dispute with Fox and now they can legally sell Duff Beer, complete with a logo completely ripped off from the show. Although Fox had two Duff Beer trademarks filed in the European Union, a Belgian court annulled them “because they weren’t registered for an actual beverage” (the German brewer, Duff Beer UG, has applied for their own trademark, which takes a lot of chutzpah). And now that Duff Beer is available in France, French TV has to blur Duff Beer because advertising alcohol is apparently illegal there, and showing this fictional beer that’s been around for over two decades could be seen as an advertisement for this insane rip-off beer that brazenly stole its name and logo and has nothing to do with The Simpsons. Europe is weird.