November 2018. The brewery that produces Duvel beer has failed to keep competitor Filou off the Belgian market after the Court of Appeal in Brussels ruled in June that consumers were unlikely to confuse the two brands.
Duvel claims that Filou is trying to piggy-back on the look and feel of its distinctive bottle. The label, metal bottletop and bottle shape are all identical, according to Duvel. What’s more, there’s even a lexical overlap between Duvel (‘little devil’) and Filou, which means ‘scalliwag’.
After the District Court had initially found in favour of Filou, Duvel again drew the short straw on appeal. Consumers would be perfectly able to distinguish between Filou and Duvel, the Brussels Court of Appeal concluded. But what about the shape of the bottles? Verdict: you see plenty of them already on the Belgian beer market.