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06 December 2013

Supreme Court decision puts an end to 20-year-old dispute

The Supreme Court has put an end to a 20-year-old dispute between a French cookery school and a Philippine restaurant over the use of the mark CORDON BLEU. The restaurant, as first registrant, had successfully opposed the registration of CORDON BLEU by the cookery school, but the Supreme Court held that first registration must be by the legitimate owner of the mark.

19 November 2013

'Suspicious' Court of Appeals decision highlights risks of going to court

In a dispute between Araneta Center Inc and the owner of the domain name ‘www.aranetacenter.com’, the Court of Appeals has ruled, in what some commentators are calling a ‘suspicious’ decision, that Araneta Center was not entitled to sue in the Bureau of Legal Affairs because it was a domestic corporation.

23 July 2013

New rules on trademark use introduced

The Philippines is somewhat unique in Asia in having strict use requirements for trademarks. New trademark rules now clarify several areas: for example, online use is clearly defined to be valid proof of use, and use of some goods in a class is sufficient to maintain the registration for the whole class.

14 October 2009

Supreme Court stubs out Tabacalera's infringement claims

In Compania General de Tabacos de Filipinas v Tabaqueria de Filipinas Inc, the Supreme Court has held that consumers were unlikely to be misled into buying Tabaqueria de Filipinas Inc's cigars instead of Tabacalera's. Among other things, the court pointed out that the products of both parties were sold under different trademarks.

22 April 2009

Supreme Court precedent disregarded in opposition action

The Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office has dismissed an opposition filed by Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, the owner of the well-known VOGUE mark, against the application for the registration of the trademark VOGUE, VIGOR, VALUE V3 for garments and accessories. The Bureau of Legal Affairs disregarded precedents of the Supreme Court with regard to the dominancy test.

09 February 2009

RADIO IDOL falls off pedestal

The Intellectual Property Office has upheld an opposition filed by FremantleMedia Limited, the owner of the IDOL marks, against the registration of the trademark RADIO IDOL (and design). Among other things, the office recognized that the IDOL marks were well-known trademarks under the Paris Convention and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

23 October 2008

Green Cab Pizza held liable for infringement of YELLOW CAB PIZZA mark

The director general of the Intellectual Property Office has upheld a decision of the Bureau of Legal Affairs in which the latter had found that Green Cab Pizza Haus was liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Among other things, the director general held that Green Cab sought to free-ride on the goodwill associated with Yellow Cab Pizza Co's trademark.

23 September 2008

Owner of IDOL marks successfully prevents registration of RADIO IDOL

The Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office has upheld FreemantleMedia Limited's opposition against Audio Visual Communications Inc's application for the registration of the mark RADIO IDOL for broadcast media and communications services. Among other things, the bureau held that Audio Visual sought to free-ride on the reputation of FreemantleMedia's IDOL marks.

25 July 2008

Conviction overturned in JOLLIBEE Case

The Court of Appeal has overturned a 2007 decision in which it had affirmed the conviction of Richard Chua for violation of the Intellectual Property Code. Among other things, the court held that since Jollibee Food Corporation's goods did not compete with Chua's footwear, use of the JOLILBEE mark by Chua was unlikely to mislead consumers into thinking that Chua's footwear originated from Jollibee.

13 March 2008

'Dominant feature' test disregarded in WILD GEESE Case

The Bureau of Legal Affairs of the Intellectual Property Office has dismissed an opposition filed by Bacardi & Co Ltd, the owner of the trademark GREY GOOSE, against Lodestar Anstalt's application to register the mark WILD GEESE. The hearing officer disregarded the 'dominant feature' test established by the Supreme Court in McDonald's Corp v LC Big Mak Burger Inc.

04 February 2008

Twin decisions protect GQ marks

The Intellectual Property Office has upheld oppositions against the registration of the marks GENTLEMEN'S QUINTESSENCE and GQ. Among other things, the hearing officer held that under the 'dominant feature' test established by the Supreme Court, there was a likelihood of confusion between GENTLEMEN'S QUINTESSENCE and the opponent's marks GQ and GQ GENTLEMEN'S QUARTERLY.

21 January 2008

Stiff prison term imposed for imitating JOLLIBEE logo

In People of the Philippines v Chua, the Court of Appeals has not only affirmed the conviction of the defendant for violation of the Intellectual Property Code, but also increased the prison term imposed by the trial court to an indeterminate sentence of two to five years. Among other things, the court held that the defendant's JOLILBEE trademark "practically duplicated" Jollibee Food Corporation's JOLLIBEE mark.

06 September 2007

SWISS ARMY defeats bad-faith application

The Intellectual Property Office has upheld an opposition filed by a US company against an application to register the mark SWISS ARMY DHC (and device) by a Swiss company. The office agreed that the applicant could not be considered a prior user in good faith of the SWISS ARMY trademark in the Philippines or elsewhere since it must have been aware of the opponent's earlier use of the SWISS ARMY mark when it filed its application in 1998.

07 June 2007

TIFFANY mark reaffirmed as well known in the Philippines

The Office of the Director General of the Intellectual Property Office has overturned an earlier ruling and has held that TIFFANY is an internationally well-known mark belonging to Tiffany & Co which is protected against unauthorized appropriation by third parties, even on goods that are unrelated to those on which Tiffany & Co is using the mark.

19 April 2007

Jockey wins JOCKS opposition

In Jockey International Inc v Myrich Apparel Shoppe, the Intellectual Property Office has upheld the opposition filed by underwear manufacturer Jockey International Inc against an application to register the mark JOCKS for t-shirts. The office held that there is no reasonable explanation for the applicant's choice of JOCKS as a mark for t-shirts, except to cash in on the goodwill enjoyed by the JOCKEY mark.