Brewpublic’s Quebec Marc Demeule informed us early this morning of a new beer recently approved by the European Union trademarks authority to the dismay of an Austrian village. According to Spiegel Online, a German firm was permitted to register the brand name “Fucking Hell” for a new beer.
Fucking is an Austrian village in the municipality of Tarsdorf,o the Innviertel region of Western Upper Austria. The village is located 21 miles (33km) north of Salzburg, and 2.5 miles (4 km) east of the German border.
According to Wikipedia: “Despite having a population of only 104 people, the village has become famous for its name, particularly in the English-speaking world. Its road signs are a popular attraction for visitors, and they were often stolen by souvenir-hunting tourists until 2005 when they were modified to be theft-resistant.”
According to Wikipedia, “In 2009, the European Union’s OHIM trade marks agency disallowed a German brewery to market a beer called “Fucking Hell”. They sued, and on 26 March 2010 got permission to market the beer. They claim the beer is actually named after the Austrian village Fucking and the German term for pale lager, hell.”
Further the article from Spiegel Online adds:
The Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union said in a statement that it had rejected a complaint that the trade mark “Fucking Hell” was upsetting, accusatory and derogatory.
“The word combination claimed contains no semantic indication that could refer to a certain person or group of persons. Nor does it incite a particular act. It cannot even be understood as an instruction that the reader should go to hell,” the Office said in its statement.
EU Trademark Office Has No Problem with Name
“Fucking Hell” was an “an interjection used to express a deprecation, but it does not indicate against whom the deprecation is directed,” the Office added. “Nor can it be considered as reprehensible to use existing place names in a targeted manner (as a reference to the place), merely because this may have an ambiguous meaning in other languages.”
That is good news for German marketing executives Stefan Fellenberg and Florian Krause, who own the rights to the brand name, and who had referred to the town of Fucking in their application to register it.
Tittelconsulting, a marketing agency, said in a statement on Monday that the owners will use the trademark to manufacture a variety of products including clothing and beer. “It includes the marketing of a beer among other things,” Tittelconsulting said in a statement.
The new brew was likely to be presented in August or September, it added. Contacted by SPIEGEL ONLINE, Fellenberg declined to give further comment, so it’s unclear where the beer will be brewed.
It is likely to heighten Fucking’s fame, which is something Meindl, the town’s mayor, isn’t happy about, given the trouble the name has caused it over the years. “Twelve or 13 town signs have been stolen. We’ve taken to fixing them with concrete, welding and rivets.”
The Bavarian towns of Kissing and Petting have the same problem, as does the eastern German town of Pissen. But so far, there are no plans to name a beer after them.
Don’t be surprised to see a beer in the future from the Labrador town of Dildo.