Simpsons creator Matt Groening has stated that he did not wish to license the Duff trademark to make an actual Duff beer as he was concerned it would encourage children to drink.
However, over the years, many unofficial versions of Duff beer have cropped up over the web, particularly in Europe, Australia and Southern America.
Duff Beer UG applied for an EU Community Trade Mark (CTM) in 2009, which was opposed by Twentieth Century Fox. In 2011 OHIM decided in favour of Fox, and in 2012 Duff Beer UG appealed to the European Court of Justice.
Twentieth Century Fox had itself been granted a CTM for the logo “Duff BEER” for use in several categories of non-beer merchandise. Fox had applied for the CTM in 1999, but opposition from the makers of “Mac Duff’s” branded wine and spirits delayed the grant till 2006. Fox’s CTM was cancelled by the OHIM in 2011, following a 2010 ruling by the Brussels Commercial Court that a “Beer” logo applied exclusively to non-beer merchandise was misleading.
In Germany the Eschweger Klosterbrauerei, a brewery in Hessen, brews a Duff Beer under the German Reinheitsgebot, under contract for Duff Beer UG. It is distributed in many European countries, and in Australia from 2011.
Daleside Brewery in England makes a beer called Duff. Duff Beer UG’s beer is distributed in the United Kingdom as “The Legendary Duff Beer”. While news reports of its 2011 introduction mentioned The Simpsons, its own website does not, although it refers to its “iconic packaging” and states “The product has certainly fulfilled its namesake in becoming a modern day legend”.
Duff Beer UG’s beer was introduced into France in 2011, though with limited success. Since French television has a strict prohibition on advertising and product placement of alcohol, subsequent broadcasts of The Simpsons have blurred the Duff logo on screen. The name is not censored on the soundtrack, but Duffman was redubbed “Uffman”.
Don’t expect however to see Homer or the beer’s in-show mascot, Duffman, featured in any advertising for the drink. Godsick added: “Duff is inspired by the brand that’s in the show, but it begins and ends at that. It’s a completely stand-alone brand, you will not see any characters from the show involved in the marketing in any way.”
Fox has been involved in intellectual property lawsuits with brewers over the years, many in Chile, who infringed on the brand, and now they are trying to compete with them. The beer was stripped from liquor store shelves across stores in Australia last year because of its appeal to under-age drinkers