20 October 2008

Release the hounds / lawyers

I remember reading, a couple of years ago, that a Mexican company had started churning out suspiciously authentic-looking Duff beer. It looks like the Newscorp trademark enforcement team have not yet caught up with them, since what I assume is the same beer is now being contract brewed in Belgium and exported to Ireland: the country which reveres The Simpsons more than any other on the planet. No really. I read it somewhere.

So apart from the novelty value, what do you get for €2.50? Sadly, not much. Duff is another one of your ordinary hot-country lagers: pale, fizzy, very slightly dry and with a disturbing tiny hint of disinfectant right on the end. Pretty much what I was expecting, in fact. Keep it cold, drink it fast, and enjoy the novelty value.

Ah. That'll be the Newscorp guys now. Excellent.

9 comments:

  1. RealAleBlog11:03 pm

    Duff by name Duff by nature eh?

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  2. Perhaps. Though Daleside Duff is far from it.

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  3. When do they bring out a competing branf called Fudd?

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  4. I was looking forward to Red Tick beer myself....

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  5. Red Tick beer: 'Hmm, bold, refreshing, and something I can't quite put my finger on

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  6. In the late 1990s, the Lion Nathan (Tooheys and XXXX) brewery in Australia produced an unrelated beer called "Duff Beer". 20th Century Fox brought legal action against the company. The product was ordered to be pulled off of store shelves and destroyed because of the likely association in public mind between the Simpsons brand, characters and "Duff" beer, even though the manufacturer did not use any Simpsons characters and made the can look very different. The beer became a collectors' item in the process with one case selling on EBay for US$13,000.

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  7. Fox got in a fair use dispute with a film that showed stage hands playing draughts that just happened to have the Simpsons on in the background*. There is a cartoon explanation of the problem here^. So I'm surprised this product is still being sold

    *http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/movies/16rams.html?emc=eta1
    ^http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/comics/digital.php

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  8. Especially surprising given that "fair use" is an American concept with pretty much no basis in European intellectual property law. There's no reason I can see that Fox aren't taking these guys to the cleaners.

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