Author Topic: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers  (Read 4915 times)

Offline roguenationpatriot

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      I've always been a huge fan of the Simpsons, and the Duffman was specifically one of my favorite characters.  Over the years, I have collected a bunch of Duff merchandise, and even dressed liked Duffman for Halloween one year.  So, when I saw this news story I couldn't resist talking about it to my blog.  It seems that two Colombian brothers (Alvaro and Oscar Ballesteros) have copied the logo and image of the fictitious brand, and starting selling the product without the consent of 20th Century Fox.  This has led to a legal battle over copy right infringement, and the right to sell the product.  The Ballesteros argue that it is not copyright infringement if it only existed in the fictional/cartoon world.  This case should be interesting to watch, and see if what side the courts take on this case.

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« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 12:53:32 PM by roguenationpatriot »
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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 01:02:17 PM »
I was wondering about the legal implication when I saw this on a beer store shelf in Germany



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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 01:21:48 PM »
The Ballesteros argument is hogwash.  Their argument would only make sense if Fox was bringing a trademark claim because Duff is a trademark for beer sold in the cartoon world.
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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 01:35:49 PM »
I agree. To me, as a someone who has no background in legal matters, this is a flagrant copyright violation. The breweries are using a brand developed by someone else to sell their beer.

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Offline roguenationpatriot

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 01:40:37 PM »
I don't think they have much chance of winning the case myself.  They did try to change the name to "DUH" beer, so that they could still make it look like "Duff" with directly using the same name.  Either way I think they're screwed.
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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 01:50:13 PM »
But is the beer any good?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 02:01:33 PM »
But is the beer any good?

Based on the first photo, the beer isn't any good.  However, I could be persuaded by the right people to try some.
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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »
I didn't buy any. It was sold by the case. I mean "DuH box".

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Offline The Professor

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2012, 04:57:51 PM »
I agree. To me, as a someone who has no background in legal matters, this is a flagrant copyright violation. The breweries are using a brand developed by someone else to sell their beer.


Absolutely right.  They haven't got a prayer... the product may have been birthed in a fictional world, but the name and concept is the intellectual property of 20th Fox and provable as such, and these guys stole it plain and simple.  After 20+ years on the air (the longest running sitcom in broadcast history), "The Simpsons" is an international brand in and of  itself, which these clowns are blatantly trading on.

As to what the courts in Columbia will have to say about it...well, THAT should be interesting to watch. 
But the brothers will most probably lose...and frankly,  they deserve to.
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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 06:58:30 PM »
I don't think they have much chance of winning the case myself.  They did try to change the name to "DUH" beer, so that they could still make it look like "Duff" with directly using the same name.  Either way I think they're screwed.

Then we could sue - Delmarva United Homebrewers - DUH
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Offline roguenationpatriot

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 09:43:35 PM »
I agree. To me, as a someone who has no background in legal matters, this is a flagrant copyright violation. The breweries are using a brand developed by someone else to sell their beer.


Absolutely right.  They haven't got a prayer... the product may have been birthed in a fictional world, but the name and concept is the intellectual property of 20th Fox and provable as such, and these guys stole it plain and simple.  After 20+ years on the air (the longest running sitcom in broadcast history), "The Simpsons" is an international brand in and of  itself, which these clowns are blatantly trading on.

As to what the courts in Columbia will have to say about it...well, THAT should be interesting to watch. 
But the brothers will most probably lose...and frankly,  they deserve to.

+1
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Offline bluefoxicy

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 05:10:32 AM »
I agree. To me, as a someone who has no background in legal matters, this is a flagrant copyright violation. The breweries are using a brand developed by someone else to sell their beer.

Kai

Which would be trademark, not copyright.  Technically characters can't be copyright, so why would a beer?

That of course leaves trade dress, which is to say that the product looks like another product to confuse consumers.  This is Apple's argument, by the way:  Samsung's Galaxy phone and tablet are "intended to look like an iPhone and iPad, confusing consumers seeking to purchase an Apple product such that they instead purchase a Samsung product."  So we have the question:  Will consumers be confused into thinking Fox is selling Duff beer?  Will consumers be confused into purchasing this Duff beer over a competing Fox product?

Basically if there's not a trademark on Duff, won't happen.

Offline roguenationpatriot

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 01:30:25 PM »

Which would be trademark, not copyright.  Technically characters can't be copyright, so why would a beer?

That of course leaves trade dress, which is to say that the product looks like another product to confuse consumers.  This is Apple's argument, by the way:  Samsung's Galaxy phone and tablet are "intended to look like an iPhone and iPad, confusing consumers seeking to purchase an Apple product such that they instead purchase a Samsung product."  So we have the question:  Will consumers be confused into thinking Fox is selling Duff beer?  Will consumers be confused into purchasing this Duff beer over a competing Fox product?

Basically if there's not a trademark on Duff, won't happen.

Samsung seems to have lost their case with Apple right now. I'm wondering if the Apple Samsung verdict will have any influence on this situation.  As far as consumer confusion goes; I could definitely see some people assuming that Fox is selling the beer under a subsidiary company.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2012, 02:49:38 PM »

Samsung seems to have lost their case with Apple right now. I'm wondering if the Apple Samsung verdict will have any influence on this situation.  As far as consumer confusion goes; I could definitely see some people assuming that Fox is selling the beer under a subsidiary company.

These would get nailed to the wall in a US court, technicalities aside, they are blatantly trying profit from Fox's work.  Who knows what a Colombian court will decide.

/rant/

As for Apple v. Samsung, the US is the only country Apple will win their suit in.  As far as I know (and IANA-IP-L) we are the only major player that grants "look and feel" or "software" patents.  Without going too far on this topic, we need to stop and invalidate all these patents that do not have any physical product behind them.  Apple wasn't the first company to produce a flat, rectangular case with rounded corners.  If they get their way, they will be the last one to.

/end rant/

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Offline The Professor

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Re: Simpsons Legal Battle Over Duff Beer- Simpsons' Vs. Colombian Brothers
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 05:07:44 PM »

/rant/
...we are the only major player that grants "look and feel" or "software" patents.  Without going too far on this topic, we need to stop and invalidate all these patents that do not have any physical product behind them.  ...

Perhaps this isn't the place to ask (maybe the mods should consider moving the thread)...but why shouldn't software or look and feel be patentable if they are truly new and unique? 

No question that there are some serious problems that need to be addressed if the patent office is going to do what it was originally established to do. Some rules need to be rewritten for the modern age...and it is only going to continue  to get complicated.  Don't even get me started about Monsanto...

But just the same,  I also think that those that complain so loudly  about the patent office would probably feel very differently if it were their intellectual property, invention, or idea  being appropriated by someone else without compensation.

In any event, there is bound to be lots of disagreement on the recent verdict.  But personally, I'm with the courts on this decision...if anything, Samsung got off easy.
Google is blatently worse, and I suspect they will wind up in the court system sooner than later..
AL
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