"Duff beer", the Homer Simpson beer is a Trademark

Does anyone remember the famous beer " Duff " of Homer Simpson ( best known character in the U.S. cartoon "The Simpsons") ?


The reference to Duff beer is present in almost every episode, being Homer a great drinker ! . Some episodes are fully dedicated to it and characterization of many characters revolves around this sign.


From fiction to reality, however, for those who have thought well to settle the Duff brand for various product classes (most of you are interested in doing it for clothes and drink). The Italian example is one of the most significant. Consider that the recordings date back to the year 2000, and some just for class 32 (and therefore for beer and other preparations or beverages ) .


In more recent times - January 2010 - The German Duff Beer UG opposed the registration of the same trademark " Duff " by Duff beverage GmbH, disputing the likelihood of confusion.


In this scenario arises then a further major problem. Voluntarily or not, in fact, the German companies just mentioned, before proceeding to their requests for records, they did not deal with 20th Century Fox, the legitimate holder of the relevant at EU level since at least 1999.


In particular, and in light of this prior art, the Duff beer UG, December 12, 2011, was refused the application for registration of the mark by the OHIM ( Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market - Case R 0456/2011- 4 ). Moreover, the German company has reacted without pretending to be won by denying the absence of a real market, at least in the European territory of a beer reproducing the hallmark " Duff ", except the one conducted by the same.


At least, the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, has in the past claimed to be regarded as contrary to the production of an alcoholic beverage called Duff, in order not to encourage the boys, more generally, young people - being the main target audience of the animated sitcom - to drink.


Demonstration of what has occurred very recently. And recent events have affected its Italian business activities. Just a few days ago, in fact, the news that the Italian judicial authority has followed the topic " Duff ". Under a different level, however, the criminal, and not from a statutory / administrative recalled above.


The PM Raffaele Guariniello was informed by core Tax Police of Verona, the news that were marketed in Italy beers reproducing a brand very similar to the famous " Duff ". It was so ordered the seizure of thousands of cans and bottles of beer imported (from Germany) by an Italian company.


The company is therefore currently under investigation for the " sale of industrial products with misleading signs ." More precisely, for putting into circulation drinks with names, trademarks or other distinctive signs are able to mislead the buyer about the origin, source or quality of the product; offense under Article 517 c.c.


From this it can be inferred that the PM has not therefore found grounds for the application of the case - in the case of mere import , at least - referred to in Article 474 of the Criminal Code aimed at punishing "whoever introduces [ or holds for sale, puts for sale or otherwise puts into circulation ] in the State in order to gain profit, industrial products with trademarks or logos, domestic or foreign, counterfeit or altered . " This, especially in light of the expressed precisely the same Article 517 of the Criminal Code namely, that a person is punishable for committing such an offense only " if the offense is not expected as a crime by another provision of law."


Source: Altalex

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