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Simpsons’ Beer ’Duff’ Trademark Sought by German Brewer

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April 17 (Bloomberg) -- Duff Beer UG, a German beer maker, asked a European Union court to allow it to register an EU trademark for Homer Simpson’s favorite beverage.

The brewer sells “the legendary Duff beer” without mentioning the Simpsons on its packaging or its website. News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox Film, which makes the long-running cartoon show “The Simpsons,” has two earlier EU trademarks to the fictional beer. News Corp. won an Australian court case stopping another producer selling Duff beer in 1996.

Duff Beer, based in Eschwege, Germany, filed a suit with the EU’s general court in Luxembourg, asking the court to overturn a decision by the EU trademark agency that prevented it from registering “the figurative trademark ‘Duff’ in black, white and red,” according to a filing published on April 14.

A Belgian court last year annulled Twentieth Century Fox’s two European trademarks for Duff as misleading because they weren’t registered for an actual beverage. Duff Beer is also asking the EU court to wait for final decisions from the Belgian cases.

Duff Beer’s offices in Eschweg and Chris Petrikin, a spokesman for Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles, didn’t respond to e-mails and calls seeking comment.

The case is T-87/12 - Duff Beer v OHIM, Twentieth Century Fox Film (Duff)

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.