The conflict: Two German breweries registered trademarks for Homer Simpson’s favourite beer, one in 1999, and another, Duff Beer UG, in 2007. Duff UG recently asked the German courts to have its competitor’s trademark invalidated, allowing it to be the sole Duffmaster. Ironically, Simpsons creator Matt Groening doesn’t licence the Duff name to beer manufacturers, so both enterprises are illegal. D’oh!
The outcome: Following a meandering ride through the German courts, Duff Beer UG got the final “woo-hoo!” in December, when the Federal Court of Justice ruled the two Duffs could continue to coexist, neither having to change its name to Fudd . Duff UG’s beer is sold across Europe and was noted by the German Agricultural Society for its quality—more irony for a beer famous for its blandness.